Omicron: 5 measures by India to contain spread of new variant detected in Africa
While India has not outrightly imposed travel bans on the south African countries in the wake of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, it has announced a slew of measures to contain its spread.
The Omicron variant of coronavirus has raised concerns worldwide due to its worryingly high number of mutations which might help it spread quickly than any other variant and even evade antibodies from prior infection or vaccination. While India has not outrightly imposed travel bans on the south African countries in the wake of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, it has announced a slew of measures to contain its spread.
After the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the new virus variant first detected in South Africa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a meeting and asked officials to review the plans to ease international travels. Following the high-level review by PM Modi on Omicron, an urgent meeting was chaired by the home secretary on Sunday in which various precautionary measures were discussed. The focus of the measures was international arrivals.
Here are the five measures announced by government in view of Omicron:
- All international passengers entering India have to submit 14-days travel details and upload a negative RT-PCR test report on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey.
- Travellers from countries in the ‘at-risk' category will have to take the post-arrival Covid test and wait for results at the airport. They have to go through a seven-day home quarantine if tested negative for the virus and take up a re-test on the eighth day. If tested negative, they have to further self-monitor for the next seven days.
- Travellers from countries excluding the 'at risk' category will be allowed to leave the airport and require to self-monitor health for 14 days' post-arrival. Five per cent of total flight passengers will undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport.
- Genomic surveillance for variants is to be further strengthened and intensified.
- Airport Health Officials (APHOs) and Port Health Officials (PHOs) will be sensitized for strict supervision of testing protocol at airports and ports respectively.
The countries in the 'at-risk' category are: South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel, and European nations including Britain.