Home News Coronavirus LIVE Updates: India Suspends Flights to UK After New Virus Strain Found, 7-Day Quarantine Must for Incoming Passengers

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: India Suspends Flights to UK After New Virus Strain Found, 7-Day Quarantine Must for Incoming Passengers

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: India Suspends Flights to UK After New Virus Strain Found, 7-Day Quarantine Must for Incoming Passengers


US authorities are looking “very carefully” into the virus variant spreading in the United Kingdom, top health officials said Sunday, while indicating that a ban on UK travel was not currently in the cards. The news came as a US expert panel recommended those aged 75 and older should be the next vaccinated against the virus, along with 30 million “frontline essential workers,” including teachers, grocery store employees and police. Addressing the virus variant, Moncef Slaoui, chief advisor to the government’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine program, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that US officials “don’t know yet” if it is present in the country. “We are, of course… looking very carefully into this,” including at the National Institutes of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he said. At the moment, he said, no strain of the virus appears to be resistant to the vaccines available.

Although mutations of the Sars-CoV-2 have been reported in recent months from various parts of the world, the VUI-202012/01 variant traced in the UK has raised cause for concern. Addressing a press conference, PM Johnson said that preliminary data evidenced that it is 70% more transmissible.

The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), an expert committee of the UK Department of Health and Social Care, in its report concluded that it has “moderate confidence that VUI-202012/01 demonstrates a substantial increase in transmissibility compared to other variants.” The UK government’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty was also quoted as saying by The Guardian, “Nervtag now considers that the new strain can spread more quickly. We have alerted the World Health Organization and are continuing to analyse the available data to improve our understanding.”

Britain’s European neighbours began closing their doors to travellers from the United Kingdom amid alarm about a rapidly spreading strain of coronavirus that has caused cases to soar there. France said it would bar all people coming from the UK for 48 hours from Sunday night, including freight carriers, whether by road, air, sea or rail. Germany, Italy and the Netherlands ordered a suspension of flights from Britain, while Ireland said it would impose restrictions on flights and ferries from its neighbour.

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