The Centre on Thursday requested all states and union territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all worldwide travellers coming from or transiting by South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana, the place a new COVID-19 variant of great public well being implications has been reported. In a letter deal with to extra chief secretary/principal secretary/secretary (Health) of all states and union territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan requested them to be sure that samples of travellers turning optimistic are despatched to designated genome sequencing laboratories promptly.
It has now been reported by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that a number of instances of a COVID-19 variant B.1.1529 have been reported in Botswana (3 instances), South Africa (6 instances) and Honk Kong (1 case), Bhushan mentioned within the letter.
“This variant is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations, and thus, has serious public health implications for the country, in view of recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel.
“It is subsequently crucial that every one worldwide travellers travelling from and transiting by these nations, (they’re a part of the “at risk” nation class of worldwide travellers coming to India) and likewise together with all different in danger’ nations indicated within the revised Guidelines for International Arrivals issued by this Ministry dated November 11,2021, are subjected to rigorous screening and testing, as per MoHFW Guidelines,” Bhushan said.
The contacts of these international travellers must also be closely tracked and tested as per MoHFW guidelines.