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COVID New Strain: Madras HC Asks Centre To Take Concerns Raised In Plea Seriously & Issue Measures To Contain Its Spread

Sparsh Upadhyay
8 Jan 2021 8:54 AM GMT
COVID New Strain: Madras HC Asks Centre To Take Concerns Raised In Plea Seriously & Issue Measures To Contain Its Spread
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While entertaining a Plea containing "certain genuine concerns" pertaining to the new COVID Virus Strain originally detected in the United Kingdom, the Madras High Court on Wednesday (06th January) said, "It is imperative that the Union takes the concerns indicated in the petition seriously and obtains expert advice to issue immediate measures to ensure that the further spread may...

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While entertaining a Plea containing "certain genuine concerns" pertaining to the new COVID Virus Strain originally detected in the United Kingdom, the Madras High Court on Wednesday (06th January) said,

"It is imperative that the Union takes the concerns indicated in the petition seriously and obtains expert advice to issue immediate measures to ensure that the further spread may be averted."

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy has directed the Union to indicate before the Court what measures may have been put in place by 18th January 2021.

It may be noted that a new variant of SARS- CoV 2 virus has been reported by the Government of United Kingdom (UK) to World Health Organization (WHO).

According to latest figures, the number of people who have tested positive for the new UK virus in India has climbed to 73.

The matter before the Court

The petitioner before the Court referred to the memorandum issued by the Union on 22.12.2020 in the light of the new variant being detected.

The standard operating procedure for surveillance and response issued by the Union on 22.12.2020 details, inter alia, actions to be taken at international airports and other surveillance measures.

The Bench noted,

"Certain genuine concerns have been indicated in the petition pertaining to the surveillance of co-passengers accompanying a passenger who may ultimately be found bearing the new strain."

MoFHW Statement on 01st January

A Standard Operating Procedure for Epidemiological Surveillance and Response in the context of new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus detected in United Kingdom was issued on 22nd December 2020, describing the activities to be undertaken at the point of entry and in the community for all International passengers who have travelled from or transited through UK from 25th November to 23rd December 2020.

Further, Ministry Health of Family & Welfare in consultation with Ministry of Civil Aviation reviewed the situation with regard to resumption of international flight services to/from UK and now it has been decided to allow limited flight connectivity to/from UK with effect from 8th January, 2021 (00.01 Hrs. IST)

This Standard Operating Procedure shall be valid till 30th January 2021 (23:59 Hrs IST) or further orders whichever is earlier.

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