UK plans support for India as Covid-striken nation added to travel red list

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The UK is looking at sending drugs and equipment to India as the country struggles to contain a growing wave of coronavirus cases.

India was added to the UK’s travel red list at 4am on Friday, meaning arrivals from the country must now enter quarantine in a Government-approved hotel for 10 days.

Anyone who is not a UK or Irish resident or a British citizen will be banned from entering the country if they have been in India in the previous 10 days.

On Thursday, India reported more than 314,000 new infections – the worst daily sum of the pandemic anywhere in the world.

Understaffed hospitals there are struggling with the number of patients and there are concerns about the supply of oxygen.

Speaking during a visit to Hartlepool on Friday, Boris Johnson said: “We’re looking at what we can do to help and support the people of India, possibly with ventilators.”

He added: “Thanks to the ventilator challenge, the huge efforts of British manufacturers, we’re better able now to deliver ventilators to other countries.

“But also possibly with therapeutics, Dexamethasone, other things, we’ll look at what we can do to help.”

There is mounting concern internationally both about the number of Covid-19 cases in India and the emergence there of a variant of the virus.

It has 13 mutations, including two in the virus’s spike protein, known as E494Q and L452R.

Public Health England (PHE) said on Thursday that 55 cases of the Indian variant were found in the UK in the week to April 14.

PHE experts are currently unsure whether any of the mutations mean the variant can be transmitted more easily, is more deadly or can evade the effectiveness of vaccines or natural immunity.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

The country’s overall coronavirus death toll stands at more than 186,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s count.

There are currently 40 countries on the UK red list, including India, Brazil, Kenya, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The UK Government website says that if you have been in or through any of the red list countries in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Anyone arriving in Northern Ireland having been in, or transited through, one of the red list countries must complete the UK passenger locator form, provide evidence of a pre-departure negative Covid-19 test, and from April 16 enter hotel quarantine for 10 days.

The Wales Government website says that from February 15 there is no direct arrival into Wales for travellers who have been in a country on the red list.

Those flying directly to Scotland from abroad need to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days (11 nights) as soon as they arrive.

The Scottish Government website says “abroad” means flying to Scotland from outside the UK (including Northern Ireland), Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

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