UK COVID Variant in India: Positive tally reaches 82
As flight operations between India and the United Kingdom resumed, more than 250 passengers from the UK have arrived in Delhi in the first flight on Friday.
The total number of persons infected with the new COVID strain in India reached 82, while the total COVID-19 caseload in India surged to 1,04,13,417 with 18,139 new cases, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.
The active caseload of the country stood at 2,25,449 as 20,539 more persons recovered from the infection, taking the total recovered cases to 10,037,398. The recovery rate has also increased to 96.39 per cent, the ministry said.
India recorded 234 case fatalities in a span of 24 hours. With it, the death toll in the country rose to 1,50,570.
Meanwhile, flight operations from the United Kingdom to India resumed on Friday after the government suspended flight operations between the two countries over the new Covid strain. More than 250 passengers from the UK have arrived in Delhi in the first flight on Friday.
An Air India Flight with 256 passengers onboard landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi from London's Heathrow Airport on Friday amid the new coronavirus strain concerns, according to reports.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had announced that 30 flights will operate every week - 15 each by Indian and UK carriers and this schedule will be valid till 23 January.
According to the government's new SOPs, all passengers coming from the UK to India between January 8 and January 30 are required to carry COVID-19 negative RT-PCR reports for which test should have been done within 72 hours prior to their journey. All passengers will be mandatorily subjected to self-paid RT-PCR tests on arrival and quarantine at home for 14 days even if they are found negative in the RT-PCR test on arrival.
The positive samples are being tested at 10 INSACOG labs (NIBMG Kolkata, ILS Bhubaneswar, NIV Pune, NCCS Pune, CCMB Hyderabad, CDFD Hyderabad, InSTEM Bengaluru, NIMHANS Bengaluru, IGIB Delhi and NCDC Delhi) for genome sequencing.