New Covid variant: Health dept issues advisory for international fliers visiting Punjab

If tested positive, international passengers will have to go through a genome sequencing test to ensure that they are not infected with new Covid variant Omicron, the advisory says
The Punjab health department has asked all civil surgeons, vice-chancellors of medical and animal husbandry universities, medical colleges and private testing laboratories to share data on patients infected with new Covid variant Omicron.
The Punjab health department has asked all civil surgeons, vice-chancellors of medical and animal husbandry universities, medical colleges and private testing laboratories to share data on patients infected with new Covid variant Omicron.
Published on Nov 30, 2021 01:29 AM IST
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By, Ludhiana

In the wake of the Union health ministry cautioning about new Covid-19 variant Omicron, the Punjab health department has issued an advisory asking frequent international travellers and NRIs visiting Punjab to go through mandatory coronavirus test.

If tested positive, the passengers will have to go through a genome sequencing test to ensure that they are not suffering from the new virus variant, the advisory says.

In a letter, the health department has asked all the civil surgeons, vice-chancellors of medical and animal husbandry universities, medical colleges and private testing laboratories to share the data on such patients.

“If any international traveller comes to your institution or laboratory and is found corona positive, a sample should be sent immediately to the Government Medical College (GMC), Patiala, for genome-sequencing test,” the letter reads.

Ludhiana civil surgeon Dr SP Singh said the orders were received on Monday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday had declared Omicron a “variant of concern”, placing the new strain into the most troubling category of Covid variants, along with Delta.

The Union government is planning tightened travel rules and checks for visitors, with cases emerging in Botswana, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, Belgium, United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Canada, Israel and the Czech Republic.

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