The Health Ministry’s top advisory body is going to meet urgently on Monday to deliberate on the new strain of the novel coronavirus that is causing havoc in the United Kingdom. World over this has triggered concern and prompted several European countries to block incoming flights from the UK.
Sources close to the event have said that the meeting will be attended by experts from AIIMS and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), along with a representative from the World Health Organisation (WHO). They will discuss the new strain and the alterations in the spike protein that could theoretically make it more infectious.
Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said India can administer vaccines to the public probably next month. India has called for additional data from three vaccine manufacturers on the progress on trials so that they can be cleared for public administration.
“Our first priority has been the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. We don’t want to compromise on that. I personally feel, maybe in any week of January, we can be in a position to give the first Covid-19 vaccine shot to people of India,” said Dr. Harsh Vardhan while talking to the media.
On the other hand the situation in the UK is causing concern in other countries.
As per British media on Sunday several countries like Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands have announced bans on flights carrying passengers from the UK. And news has come that a similar step was being considered by France and Germany as well.