Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday said that all government departments are on high alert in the wake of a new COVID-19 variant and appealed to people to avoid unnecessary gatherings.
Sisodia said that government departments, especially health, have been instructed to again enhance infrastructure and other necessary facilities to tackle any possible threat of the new variant.
"Fear, concern is necessary about the new variant of COVID-19. All government departments are on high alert. I appeal to people to not unnecessarily mingle and to take all precautions," he said in response to a question on the new variant on the sidelines of a press conference.
The deputy chief minister appealed to the public to exercise caution about COVID-19 and follow social distancing norms even as the government is keeping a vigil on any possible case of the new variant.
"We are all alert about the new variant. A DDMA meeting has been called (on Monday) on this. If even a single person carrying the new variant comes to Delhi, it will spread fast, so please do not mingle unnecessarily," Sisodia said.
The new variant of COVID-19, feared to have a high amount of spike mutations unseen before, has been detected in South Africa, with authorities there confirming 22 positive cases associated with it on Thursday.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), in its meeting on Monday, is likely to take a call on RT-PCR testing of passengers deboarding from international flights, and quarantining of passengers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Hong Kong and other countries where the new coronavirus variant has been reported.