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Keep strict vigil to curb 'super spreader' events on New Year: Centre tells states

So far, a total of 20 people who have returned from the UK to India have tested positive for the new 'more infectious' coronavirus strain.

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Keep strict vigil to curb 'super spreader' events on New Year: Centre tells states
New Delhi: A wall painted on the theme of Corona awareness, urging people to wear masks and keep themselves safe from COVID-19 amid the ongoing pandemic, comes up in New Delhi (Photo: IANS)
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Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Wednesday wrote a letter to all states and union territories asking them to curb crowding in the wake New Year celebration and keep a strict vigil on all events that could be a potential 'superspreader'.

"The Union Health Secretary has written to all the states to keep a strict vigil on all events that could be potential "superspreader" events, and to curb crowding in the wake of the New Year celebrations and various events associated with it as well as on-going winter season," the ministry said in a statement.

The recent advice and guidance to the states by the home ministry regarding the new COVID-19 strain has been reiterated by the Health Ministry. 

"The Home Ministry has also stipulated that there shall be no restriction on interstate and intra-state movement of persons and goods. Drawing attention to this, the Health Secretary has urged the States to promptly assess the local situation and consider imposition of appropriate restrictions on 30th and 31 December, 2020 as well as on 1st January, 2021," the statement read.

So far, a total of 20 people who have returned from the UK to India have tested positive for the new 'more infectious' coronavirus strain. A total of 107 samples have undergone genome sequencing till now..

Earlier today, the government extended the suspension of flights to and from the United Kingdom till January 7 amid concerns over the new highly contagious strain of the coronavirus.

The decision was taken on the recommendations of a Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) headed by the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) and the National Task Force jointly headed by DG, ICMR and Member (Health), NITI Aayog.

"It has also been suggested to Ministry of Civil Aviation that after January 7, 2021, strictly regulated resumption of limited number of flights originating from UK into India may be considered," the statement by the health ministry read.

The British Government had recently announced that the newly identified strain of the virus found in their population is up to 70 per cent more transmissible.

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