The health ministry on Tuesday informed that no mutation in the coronavirus strain found in India has been detected so far, but there is a need to stay cautious. The ministry added that the new strain of the coronavirus detected in the UK has increased the transmissibility of the virus, but it is not affecting the disease severity or case fatality.
The ministry also said that active cases of the virus are gradually declining in India. The development comes at a time when the cases are rising in several other parts of the world with fresh lockdowns being implemented.
Health ministry officials said, “India has reported two COVID-19 deaths per million of population during the last seven days as against the global figure of 10 deaths per million population. The country has reported 124 COVID-19 cases per million of population during the same time period, as against the global figure of 588.”
This apart, the ministry said 26 states and Union Territories have less than 10,000 active-cases of the virus.
UK flight ban
India on Monday banned travel to and from the UK. The ban will be implemented from Tuesday and will remain in force till year-end.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted, “Considering the prevailing situation in the UK, the Government of India has decided that all flights originating from the UK to India to be suspended till 31st December 2020 (23.59 hours).” This apart, all the passengers coming from the UK till Tuesday will be tested to detect the new strain of the coronavirus.
Notably, the new virus strain is expected to be around 70 per cent more infectious than the other strain of coronavirus and several health experts have raised concern about the same.
Vaccine will be effective against new coronavirus strain
Biotechnology major BioNTech that has developed a vaccine for COVID-19 along with Pfizer has said that its vaccine is likely to be effective against the new strain of coronavirus. It also said that it can modify its vaccine to target the new strain within six weeks, if required.
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