New Year, New Coronavirus fear: How states are preparing up to battle the new strain
The new coronavirus strain emerged in the UK has now sent alarm bells ringing around the world. The year hit by the novel coronavirus comes to end and we enter 2021 with the concern of the mutating infection that spreads at a rapid pace. After the new infection strain made its impact in the UK, several nations, including India, have halted travel from the country.
The Indian government recently suspended all flights to and from the UK from Wednesday to December 31. It also declared a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), wherein the government will conduct genome sequencing of all passengers arriving from the UK. The Centre has also directed that all contacts of infected travellers who arrived at airports in India between Monday and Wednesday to undergo institutional quarantine.
It has also ordered states and the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) to launch a monitoring system of travellers from, and those who transited through, the UK and arrived in India in recent days.
Now with over 20 passengers from the UK testing positive for coronavirus at airports in, Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, the state governments have initiated dynamic contract tracking of those who came from UK or other European countries.
Here we look at the measures taken by states amid the emergence of the ‘new’ variant of the coronavirus in Britain:
A night curfew is imposed in municipal corporation areas between 11 and 6 am. It will remain in place till January 5 as a precautionary measure. Meanwhile, there will be institutional quarantine for 14 days for passenger’s arriving at the state’s airports from European and West Asian countries.
The Telangana government has also decided to conduct RT-PCR tests on all who are arriving in the state from Britain.
The Karnataka government has instructed RT-PCR testing for all people arriving from the UK to the state. The state has made a mandate of seven-day home quarantine for travellers from the UK, The Netherlands and Denmark.
The Punjab government has already imposed a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am. There is also a fine of Rs 1,000 for not wearing face masks and flouting social distancing protocols.
Other states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have also started tracking all passengers who have come from the UK and other European countries in the past 10 days.