National Task Force forms strategy for new virus strain from UK

The Samikhsya Bureau

NEW DELHI: Convened by the ICMR, the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 met here on Saturday to discuss strategy to combat the new virus strain from the UK.

The meeting was attended by Prof. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS; Director General Health Services (DGHS); Drug Controller General of India (DCGI); Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)and other representatives from Ministry of Health and ICMR as well as independent subject experts.

Main objective of the NTF was to discuss evidence-based modifications in testing, treatment and surveillance strategies for SARS-CoV-2 in view of the recent reports of emergence of a new variant strain of the virus from UK.

NTF deliberated in detail on aspects related to current National Treatment Protocol, testing strategy and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 vis-à-vis the UK variant strain.

It was emphasized that since the UK variant strain is implicated to cause increased transmissibility of the virus, it is critical to identify individuals infected with this strain and adequately contain them to prevent its transmission in India.

NTF concluded that there is no need to change the existing Treatment Protocol in view of mutations emerging in the strain.

NTF recommended that in addition to the existing surveillance strategies, it is critical to conduct enhanced genomic surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 specially in incoming passengers from UK.

A strategy has been put under place to detect and contain the mutant variant, the meet confirmed.