The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday directed authorities to ensure contact tracing of those who entered the state from foreign countries in the last 15 days. The order came a day after the Centre announced the suspension of flights between India and the United Kingdom till the year-end following mounting concerns about a new, possibly more transmissible, strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.
At a high-level meeting organised at the Lok Bhawan, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said quarantine facilities for such people should be arranged along with a helpline number. According to a statement issued by the state information department, the CM has asked the authorities to ensure that the private labs in the state do not charge over Rs 700 for an RT-PCR test, and over Rs 900 if the samples are collected from the person’s house.
“Every district administration has to ensure compulsory contact tracing of those coming from foreign countries. Keeping in mind the new strain of the coronavirus, those who came in the last 15 days should be tested,” said the CM.
Showing satisfaction over the recovery rate of 95.68 per cent, he asked the authorities to work towards increasing the recovery rate further. He added that the facilities at all Covid hospitals should be strengthened with availability of medicines, medical equipment and oxygen back-up. He said the state government is committed to stop the spread of coronavirus, and that the people should further be made aware of it.
Earlier, at least 60 flights between India and the UK from December 22 to December 31 had been cancelled. Indian carriers on Monday advanced departures to and from London by several hours to ensure they complete flights by the 11.59 pm deadline on Tuesday. The Civil Aviation Ministry took the decision on the basis of a recommendation by the Health Ministry, which noted that the new UK strain of the novel coronavirus is “spreading and growing rapidly”.
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