Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has requested the Central Government to ban flights coming from the United Kingdom, where a new strain of Covid-19 variant has been detected.
Mr Kejriwal tweeted saying, “New mutation of coronavirus has emerged in the UK, which is a super-spreader. I urge the central govt to ban all flights from the UK immediately.”
The new strain of virus accounts for about one-third of active cases in the UK and has been reported to be 70 per cent more infectious. The UK government has announced a lockdown ahead of Christmas to curb the spread of the new variant of the virus.
This new strain of the virus was first detected in September and has increased the spread of the disease in labs. However, there is no evidence to suggest that it leads to more deaths.
“The government is alert, there is no need to panic,” said union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. The Union Health Ministry has also called for a meeting to discuss the new variant of the virus on Monday.
The new strain shows a mutation in the very significant part of the virus, which is the spike protein of the virus, that comes first in contact with human cells and helps the virus enter the body.
The new strain is under close inspection by scientists as the vaccines on the run target the spike protein of the virus. However, the experts have shown confidence that the vaccines will be effective against the virus for now.
“If we let it add more mutations, then you start worrying. This virus is potentially on a pathway for vaccine escape, it has taken the first couple of steps towards that,” Prof Ravi Gupta from the University of Cambridge told BBC.