COVID .. Fresh scare over new strains of Covid; curfew in several states; airports effect curbs


BENGALURU/NEW DELHI: Amid fears over arrival of new strains of coronavirus, Karnataka would re-impose night curfew from 11pm to 5am for a week, starting from December 24 to January 1. All movements barring essential services will be restricted, chief minister BS Yediyurappa has announced. There, however, would be no special curbs on religious celebrations including Christmas as also for New Year.Some 25 passengers who arrived in India from the UK in recent days have tested positive for Covid-19 while scare mounted over a mutant strain of the coronavirus playing havoc with life in the UK. Officials said 11 people who came from the UK have tested positive in Delhi, eight in Amritsar, two in Kolkata and one in Chennai. There have been no confirmed instances of the mutant strain anywhere in India so far.

The Covid scenario remains worrisome in several states. As many as 312 deaths occurred due to the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative death toll to 1,46,756, Union health ministry stated on Thursday morning. With 24,712 new cases in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid-19 tally now stood at 1,01,23,778, the health ministry said. The total figure includes 2,83,849 active cases and 96,93,173 recoveries.

New strains of coronavirus were detected in the UK as also Africa. Karnataka is among the worst-hit states since March last when Covid-19 made its presence in India felt for the first time. Karnataka so far registered over 9,11,000 coronavirus cases and related deaths were of 12,029.

The decision to reimpose the curfew in Karnataka was taken by a high power committee after the new variant of coronavirus, VUI–202012/01, which is 70 per cent more transmissible than earlier versions of the virus, was detected in the UK a week ago.

State medical education minister Dr K Sudhakar said the festival season might be more risky and hence the imposition of curfew.  All incoming international passengers will have to present a coronavirus-negative test with the test having been conducted within a 72-hour window before their arrival. “All arrangements have been made at the airport to conduct tests and health staff have been deployed there to ensure no one enters the city without getting tested,” chief minister Yeddiyurappa said.

MAHARASHTRA: Maharashtra has already imposed a night curfew after reports came about the new strain found in the UK. “In a lockdown, individuals cannot step out of their homes. In a curfew, more than 5 people cannot assemble outside during the specified hours. Offices that function overnight or something like dairy transportation can still operate. Taxis, cars and auto-rickshaws will also run just like before,” a civic official told the media.

HIMACHAL PRADESH: The Himachal Pradesh government had imposed night curfew in Shimla, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu districts, which are major tourism centres from November 23. This is continuing.

GUJARAT: The local administration in Ahmedabad had imposed a night curfew from 9pm to 6 am in November, during festival season, and this is still continuing.

PUNJAB:  The state government has announced that the night curfew, imposed from December 11 on all cities and towns, will continue till January 1. Curbs are in place also on gatherings. The government order said a total of 100 people can participate in indoor festivities and 250 individuals for outdoor ones during non-curfew hours. Initially, the government had imposed a night curfew from December 1 to December 15.

RAJASTHAN: The Rajasthan government on Wednesday imposed night curfew on December 31 in cities having a population of over one lakh. The restrictions will remain in place from 8pm on December 31 to 6am on January 1, as per an order issued by the Home Department. The state had earlier imposed a night curfew from 8 pm to 6 am in urban segments of 13 district headquarter towns — Kota, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur, Ajmer, Alwar, Bhilwara, Nagore, Pali, Tonk, Sikar and Ganganagar — from December 1 to 31.


Maharashtra reported 3,913 new Covid-19 cases and confirmed 93 C-deaths on Wednesday. The total number of positive cases in the state now stood at 19,06,371, and the total of recoveries at 18,01,700. There were currently 54,573 active cases. The death toll stood at 48,969.

DELHI: The national capital reported 18 deaths and 871 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the total number of active cases to 8,003. The total number of positive cases stands at 6,19,618. The C-death toll for Delhi now stood at 10,347.

FLIGHT ARRIVAL REGULATIONS: Those travelling from West Asia and Europe to Mumbai will have to undergo a mandatory institutional quarantine if they test positive for coronavirus, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai had announced on Tuesday. “Any passenger identified as being symptomatic on arrival will be transferred to (a) designated covid facility for further evaluation. Passengers arriving from these regions will be transported by state officials to nearby hotels of their preference to undergo institutional quarantine for seven days at their own cost,” it added.

The Municipal Corporation in Mumbai said transit passengers arriving at Mumbai will be allowed to proceed only if they conducted a RT-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction) test up to 72 hours before boarding the flight, and tested negative.

“If the transit passenger doesn’t have the RT-PCR test report as negative, the passenger may undergo the test at the airport itself. Only after the results are received as negative, he/she shall be allowed to proceed to the final destination. If the results turned out positive, the passenger shall be admitted to MCGM Hospital. International passengers from Europe and West Asia would be considered for exemption from the seven-day compulsory institutional quarantine by a nodal officer of MCGM or deputy collector of Mumbai suburban district, if they test negative.


Notably, India suspended flights from and to the UK till  December 31 to prevent the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus. –IHN-NN


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