Omicron: Tamil Nadu issues new SOPs; unvaccinated people to be restricted
The Tamil Nadu government implemented new standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the wake of the spread of the new variant of coronavirus, named Omicron. The new SOPs came into effect from December 1.
According to revised guidelines, RT-PCR test has been made mandatory for passengers who arrive at any of the airports in the state from countries identified as ‘at risk’ by the central government. Such travellers will remain at the respective airport till their RT-PCR test result comes negative, according to S Dharmaraj, Director at Tiruchirappalli International Airport.
“Random sampling will be conducted for travellers coming from countries other than the ones categorised as 'at-risk'. The entire area is being sanitised regularly,” the official added.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu health minister Ma Subramanian on Wednesday said that the state government has instructed officials to take steps to restrict movement of non-vaccinated people.
"We have instructed district collectors to take steps on restrictions for non-vaccinated people and ensure that they do not come in public places. We want to ensure that people get vaccinated without fail," Subramanian was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
He further said, "In Kanyakumari, customers at government liquor shops will get liquor only if they are vaccinated."
The Indian government has implemented strict travel guidelines in the wake of the Omicron variant, which is believed to be spreading faster than the Delta strain. There are also claims that it is more resistant to vaccines and have higher number of mutations.
The variant was first identified in southern Africa on November 24 and has been spreading rapidly since then. Till Wednesday, it has already spread to 23 countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has already categoried Omicron as ‘variant of concern’.