United Kingdom recently reported a new strain of the virus, primarily in London and South East of England. Following this, several countries reported cases caused by ‘UK COVID strain’. The British Government stated that the virus variant may be 70 percent more infectious than the previous one. Due to its alarming infecting speed, the government imposed strict rules in the country to tackle the rising cases. The government also cancelled a five-day relaxation planned during Christmas.
Since the discovery of the new strain, several countries have reported cases caused by the UK COVID strain. Countries like Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Romani, Russia and Switzerland have halted flights to and from the country. India also became one of the first nations to temporarily ban flights from UK, starting December 23, 2020.
Various countries have also reported the presence of the UK COVID strain. Friday news reports suggested that the new strain is responsible for the second wave of COVID-19 in South Africa. Similarly, Italy on Sunday, reported that it found the new virus variant in a person returning from the United Kingdom.
France announced on Monday that there is a strong possibility that the variant is spreading in the country. However, recent tests have yet to confirm the presence of the strain. Australia on Monday, reported the new variant in two passengers identified at South Wales who were UK returnees. Both are kept in quarantine to curb spread of the virus.
India has yet to identify COVID-19 cases caused by the new variant. However, as there is no quick test to check the variant of the virus, it is still possible that the new variant is circulating in the country. But there is still no cause for concern as experts believe that the vaccines may be effective against the new variant. As a precaution, the central government announced a temporary ban on all UK flights till December 31, 2020. Maharashtra government on Monday, announced certain protocols for international flight passengers to control the pandemic.