Highlights

  • Centre issues alert to states and UTs over discovery of a new Covid-19 variant
  • Centre: new variant reported to have high number of mutations
  • Centre: strict testing of passengers from South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana

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Centre issues alert over the new Covid-19 variant found in South Africa

The new Covid-19 variant has been named B.1.1.529 and reports suggest that it was first found in Botswana.

The Centre on Thursday asked all states and union territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana where a new COVID-19 variant has been reported.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter to all states and UTs, wrote, that the variant is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations, and has serious public health implications for the country considering the recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel.

Also watch: New Covid-19 variant detected in South Africa

The new Covid-19 variant has been named B.1.1.529 and reports suggest that it was first found in Botswana. It is also reported to be behind the recent rise in cases in South Africa.

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