No new travel curbs yet, says MEA after 2 test positive for Omicron in Bengaluru
India said on Thursday that it has not imposed any travel curbs following the detection of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus, though surveillance mechanisms and protocols have been intensified for travellers from at-risk countries.
“This is a very evolving situation, and two cases [of the Omicron variant] have been confirmed in Karnataka,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told a regular news briefing.
“We don’t have travel curbs as such. Some countries have stopped flights from that region or countries they define vis-a-vis Omicron, We haven’t done that. We have instead intensified surveillance mechanisms and protocols for those who happen to come from at-risk countries and not just limited to Omicron,” he said.
Travellers from at-risk countries have to take RT-PCR tests on arrival and undergo seven-day home quarantine.
There are 11 entries on the list of at-risk countries, which were identified on the basis of facts and evidence from health and regulatory authorities. The list existed prior to the identification of the Omicron variant and it is based on the incidence profile of Covid-19 in those countries.
The list includes all countries in Europe, including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel.
India, Bagchi said, has offered to provide medical supplies and vaccines to African countries and also cleared all requests for assistance from that region. “We stand ready to supply essential life-saving drugs, test kits, PPE kits, medical equipment and ventilators depending on the situation,” he said.
India is also willing to look at deeper medical collaboration in areas such as genomic surveillance if any country in Africa makes such a request, he said.