Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday called a meeting of medical and scientific experts in light of “the threat of (the) new variant of Covid from African countries”.
These experts will make a presentation to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), he said, to suggest measures to protect the nation’s capital from the B.1.1.529 strain of the coronavirus.
“Given the threat of (the) new variant of COVID-19 from African countries, we asked experts to make a presentation to the DDMA on Monday and suggest the actions we should take. We will take all necessary measures to protect you and your family, ”the Chief Minister tweeted.
Given the threat of the new COVID variant from African countries, we asked experts to make a presentation at DDMA on Monday and suggest the steps we should take. We will take whatever steps are necessary to protect you and your family.
– Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 26, 2021
A new variant of the novel coronavirus – listed as B.1.1.529 – was first identified in South Africa and Botswana earlier this week, and has since spread to Hong Kong.
The variant has set off alarm bells for an alarming number of mutations that could make it more resistant to current vaccines, increase transmissibility and lead to more severe symptoms.
India on Thursday called for stringent screening of passengers from those countries.
“This variant would have a significantly high number of mutations and therefore would have serious implications for the public health of the country, given the recently relaxed visa restrictions and the opening of international travel,” the health ministry said. ‘Union to all. states and UTs read.
The new variant has 50 mutations, including more than 30 on the spike protein and 10 on the receptor binding domain. Researchers are still trying to confirm what this means for the virus’ escape and transmission abilities, but medical experts have sounded the alarm.
Delhi was one of the hardest-hit cities in the country at the height of the second wave of Covid, when hospital beds were hard to find and patients died from lack of oxygen.
Overall, the city has recorded more than 14.4 lakh cases, with more than 25,000 deaths linked to the virus. The numbers have since slowed, with just 30 new cases yesterday and 309 active cases.
The country as a whole reported 10,549 new cases in a 24-hour period, the center said this morning, a 15.6% increase from the previous period.
With the entry of PTI