Saturday, November 27, 2021

RT-PCR tests mandatory at Gujarat airports for fliers from these countries

New Delhi: Amid concerns over the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, the Gujarat government has introduced fresh travel guidelines for fliers from over 40 countries arriving at airports in the state.

Travellers from Europe, UK, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Hong Kong will have to undergo mandatory RT-PCR tests on landing at any airport in Gujarat.

Mumbai has also imposed similar restrictions on incoming travellers from South Africa at the city’s international airport. Those arriving in Mumbai from South Africa will be quarantined; if found Covid-positive, their samples will be sent for genome sequencing.

On Friday, the World Health Organisation designated SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529 as a ‘variant of concern’. The new coronavirus variant, which has been detected in South Africa, Hong Kong, Israel and Botswana, was named Omicron.

The WHO classified the variant as a “highly transmissible virus of concern”, the same category that includes the predominant delta variant of the coronavirus. In a bid to contain this new Covid-19 threat, countries across the world have rushed to impose travel bans.

Omicron's actual risks are not understood yet. But early evidence suggests it carries an increased risk of re-infection compared with other highly transmissible variants, the WHO said.

27/11/21 Gopi Maniar Ghanghar/India Today

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