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India records 19.5K new Covid cases, lowest in 6 months; UK strain not out of control, says WHO

File photo: KM/Umar Ganie

The new coronavirus variant discovered in Britain with a higher transmission rate is not yet out of control and can be contained using existing measures, the World Health Organization said on Monday. “We have had a much higher (contamination rate) at different points in this pandemic and we’ve got it under control,” WHO’s emergencies chief Michael Ryan told a press conference.

“So this situation is not in that sense out of control. But it cannot be left to its own devices.” British Health Secretary Matt Hancock had earlier claimed the new variant was “out of control”, with British officials saying it was 70 percent more transmissible than the main strain. “The measures we currently have in place are the correct measures,” Ryan said. “We need to do what we have been doing, we may just have to do it with a little more intensity and for a little longer to make sure we can bring this virus under control.”

Roughly 30 countries shut their borders to people travelling from Britain or South Africa — where another variant has emerged — to stop any further spread. “In some senses, it means we have to work harder,” Ryan said. “Even if the virus has become a little bit more efficient in spreading, the virus can be stopped.”

Meanwhile, the number of new coronavirus infections reported in a span of 24 hours in India was recorded below 20,000 after nearly six months while the COVID-19 active caseload fell below 3 lakh,according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.

India’s COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,00,75,116 with 19,556 new infections being reported in a day. The death toll increased to 1,46,111 with 301 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Here’s What India and States are Doing Due to the New Covid UK Strain:

• Temporary suspension of flights till year end.
• Maharashtra – Night curfew in Maharashtra’s cities 
• Karnataka – Government made it mandatory of Covid Negative test for those who travelled from England and Denmark.
• Delhi – so far no new regulations / waiting 
• Punjab – Night curfew already going on/ following Centre’s guidelines for now. Flight came in last night and all passengers are being tested. Waiting for results
• Kerala – no new restrictions yet 
• Tamil Nadu – one positive / Mandatory 14 day quarantine for passengers from all countries upon arrival at the Chennai airport
• Kolkata – The government is collating list of passengers from UK to Kolkata in last 15 days, and contract tracing will be done 
• Telangana – The government is doing mandatory RT-PCR tests, those testing positive going to institutional quarantine. A list is being prepared of those who have already travelled to Telangana