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Dubai suspends Air India Express operations after carried COVID-19 positive passenger.

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Dubai Civil Aviation Authority has suspended Air India Express operations to the Dubai airport after the airline allegedly carried a passenger who had tested positive for COVID-19.

The suspension kicks in from September 18 and will be valid till October 2.

The suspension notice says that the airline had carried the passenger on September 4, on flight IX1135, from Jaipur to Dubai. The passenger, whose identity is not revealing, had reportedly had a positive test result, issued on September 2 at a diagnostic center in Jaipur.

Going by the notice, this was the second time that the Dubai authority had detected the airline carrying a passenger who had the infection.

“You are aware of the previous intimation made to you by our letter dated September 2, for boarding a passenger with a COVID-19 positive result, who endangered the other passengers on board and also caused a serious health risk,” the letter to the regional manager of Air India Express said.

It added that boarding a passenger with the infection, for the second time, “is contrary to and is in violation of the laid down procedure…in the Emirate of Dubai, during the corona virus SARS Cov. 2 pandemic.”

In addition to the suspension, the airline has been asked to pay for all the expenditure incurred by authorities for medical services, including quarantine, for passengers.

To resume services, the Air India subsidiary has been asked to submit a “detailed corrective action/procedure implemented to prevent such incidents…” the letter said.

Dubai is among the busiest destinations for passengers from India. As per the air travel bubble that the Indian government had arranged with a few countries, airlines from both the sides could operate scheduled flights.

This is a second such instance of Air India or its subsidiary being suspended for carrying passengers infected with the virus. On August 18, Hong Kong had banned the national airline from operating till August 31.

Separately, Malaysia had barred Indians from entering the country starting September 7, in a bid to curtail imported COVID-19 cases amid a spate of new clusters in the country.

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PMO confirms big reason,Why Coronavirus vaccine in India may not be delayed?

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ICMR and Department of Biotechnology have conducted two studies on Genome of SARSCoV-2 regarding the mutation of virus.

Coronavirus vaccines are under trial in India and other countries as well. However, some recent global studies regarding mutations in the virus have raised concerns over its impact on the effectiveness of vaccines. However, in a recent announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Centre said there is no major mutation in viral strain in India, implying that the vaccine development and its efficiency will not be impacted.

As per the statement, the country’s top clinical body- ICMR and Department of Biotechnology have conducted two studies on Genome of SARSCoV-2 regarding the mutation of virus.

“Two pan-India studies suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus,” PMO said. It is to note that when a virus replicates, there may be some changes in the new strains that have formed. This is known as mutation. Therefore, any vaccine developed for it will have to keep a tap on the possibility of mutation.

The statement came after a review meeting was chaired by PM Narendra Modi regarding the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine delivery, and its distribution and administration preparedness. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had also made a statement regarding the same saying that there have not been any significant or drastic mutations in the Coronavirus strains in India so far. According to him, ICMR has been working on conducting a large-scale sequencing of strains that have been identified in India over the last few months. The council will be ready soon with detailed results on viral mutations. The Health Minister also emphasized that small changes will not be able to impact the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office also noted that three vaccines in India have reached the advanced stages of development. Out of these, two are already in the second phase of human clinical trials and the third one is in the third phase. Further, the PMO said that PM Modi has stressed that “every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously. It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vails, syringes.”

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