India finds five with coronavirus on United Kingdom flight, testing for strain

India finds five with coronavirus on United Kingdom flight, testing for strain

However, given that there is now a lack of evidence to indicate the extent to which the new virus variant is spread outside the United Kingdom, timely efforts to prevent and control its spread are needed, said the organization.

Adding up to the already existing woes, a strain very similar to the mutated one has been discovered in South Africa.

The World Health Organisation underlined the importance of suppressing transmission of the coronavirus within the community, stressing that the more it is allowed to spread, the more the virus can mutate. The assessment is challenged by the fact that the majority of cases were reported in people under 60 years who are less likely to develop severe symptoms, it said.

India has banned all flights from the United Kingdom from Monday fearing that the new Covid strain that has affected parts of that country might be carried by passengers from there.

This new variant has been identified as a set of multiple changes and mutations in the "Spike" protein which the SARS-CoV 2 uses to infect human cells.

There are now about 4,000 mutations in the spike protein gene.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said that "initial analysis indicates that the variant may spread more readily between people", but said more research was needed to assess its impact on treatments and vaccines.

He described the situation as a "moving feast" though, and said the expert medical panel he chaired, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), was meeting daily.

Here are some of the key questions they are asking, and the answers that have emerged so far. He said that we need to do what we have been doing and that we might just have to do it with a little more intensity and for a little longer to ensure that the virus is under control. However, Bhiman says: "We do not know how [or] whether these variants cause different disease outcomes yet, but we are urgently investigating this".

Since the surge of the new virus strain, several political figures, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, have called on the government to extend the transition period until the disruption caused by the new mutation is overcome.

Five people arriving in India from Britain have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a government official said on Tuesday, but it was not clear if they had a highly infectious new strain of the virus. The three leading vaccines are Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

"To the best of our knowledge, we have yet to spot such a virus in our country, for which intensive efforts are in the offing", VK Paul, a top COVID-19 adviser to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, told a news briefing.

"We have to be cautious in our conclusions, this is still early days and there's still a lot of uncertainty about many aspects of this new variant", said NERVTAG member Ferguson.