Thursday, September 29, 2022

New Covid strain detected; India gears up for the challenge

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The World Health Organization has recognized the new COVID-19 variant, which was initially detected in South Africa last week, as a “variant of concern.” In view of the deadlier ‘Omicron’ strain of the Coronavirus making its way out of Africa, India on Friday added several nations to the list of countries from which visitors will need to take extra precautions upon arrival.

Post-arrival testing is also included in these measurements. South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Israel, Hong Kong, and nations in Europe, including the United Kingdom, are among the countries from which inbound travellers will need to take extra precautions upon arriving in India.

The Indian government has also requested that states exercise prudence and accelerate the testing of overseas travellers, particularly those arriving from Africa. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan sent a letter to all additional secretaries, principal secretaries, and secretaries of health in all states and union territories yesterday, urging them to follow the Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate guidelines to the letter.

According to the health ministry’s standards, all foreign travellers departing from or passing through these nations are subjected to “rigorous screening and testing.”

On Monday, the Delhi government will hold a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) to discuss the next course of action. These specialists will give a presentation to the DDMA, recommending actions to safeguard the national capital against the coronavirus strain B.1.1.529. During the second wave of the epidemic, Delhi was one of the worst-affected cities in India.

According to the Centre, no cases of the new Covid-19 type have been reported in India as of yet. However, according to news agency ANI, Dr Sanjay Rai, Professor at Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS, noted that the new strain has a high chance of bypassing the body’s current protection, which one may have gained through immunizations or natural infection.

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