New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The central government on Saturday issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for passengers arriving from the United Kingdom (UK) amid fears over the new strain of the deadly COVID-19 infection.

In its SOPs, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that flyers arriving from the UK will have to submit a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours prior to the journey.

Those testing negative will have to mandatorily quarantine themselves at home for 14 days, the SOPs read. It further directed that state and union territory (UT) governments to set up help desks at airports to facilitate the implementation of the procedure.

"Passengers testing positive [for coronavirus] shall be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the state health authorities. They would take necessary action to send the positive samples to Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Labs," the SOPs reach, which are valid till January 30.

All flights were temproraily suspended from the UK amid fears over new strain of COVID-19. However, the central government on Friday said that flights between the two countries will resume from January 8 in a "restricted manner".

"Flights from India to the UK to restart from January 6 while flight operations from the UK to India will resume on January 8. 30 flights will operate every week -- 15 each by Indian and the UK carriers. This schedule is valid till January 23," Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

Meanwhile, 29 people have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India so far. Of the 29, the mutated UK strain was detected in the samples of eight persons at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in New Delhi, two in the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi, one in the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani (near Kolkata), five in the National Institute of Virology in Pune, three in Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad and 10 were sequenced at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences Hospital (NIMHANS) Bengaluru.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma