Centre asks States, UTs for ‘rigorous screening’ of fliers to these countries

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan writes to Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary and Secretary (Health) of all States and Union Territories that “multiple cases of a COVID-19 variant 8.1.1529 have been reported in Botswana (3 cases), South Africa (6 cases) and Honk Kong (1 case).”

The letter added this variant is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations. It has serious public health implications for the country, in view of recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel.

All international travelers travelling from and transiting through these countries they are part of the ‘at risk’ country category of international travelers coming to India and also including all other ‘at risk’ countries indicated in the revised guidelines for international arrivals issued by the Ministry.

The Union Health Secretary added such travellers are subjected to rigorous screening and testing as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines. The contacts of these international travelers must also be closely tracked and tested as per MoHFW guidelines.

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