Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Sunday said that the state government has started thorough airport screening and strong vigilance of those travelling from South Africa, Hong Kong, Botswana and other European countries, which have witnessed the new COVID variant.
"We have started thorough airport screening & strong vigilance of those travelling from South Africa, Hong Kong, Botswana and other European countries, which have witnessed the new COVID variant," Sudhakar said.
"PM Modi, in a meeting yesterday, guided and gave directions to all the vulnerable bordering districts. We have sent all the samples of travellers and colleges students who tested positive, to 3-4 genomic sequencing labs and are awaiting results for 5-6 days," he added.
This developement comes as two South African nations tested positive for the Covid-19 virus in India's Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on Saturday. The tests have created concern and panic among the health authorities due to the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant 'Omicron' in Africa.
Both African nationals will be sent for further testing on the new variant said the Bengaluru Rural Deputy Commissioner K. Srinivas.
Both the persons have been quarantined and they will stay under quarantine following all guidelines until the new test results are confirmed. It may take as much as 48 hours to get the test results, the health authorities have informed.
"As many as 584 people, so far, have arrived in Bengaluru from 10 'high-risk' nations, and as many as 94 individuals have come from South Africa alone so far," Srinivas said.
Srinivas also visited the Bengaluru airport for inspection and check upon security precautionary measures being taken by the authorities regarding the testing and examination of the arrival of the international passengers.
Earlier yesterday PM Modi, in a meeting, guided and gave directions to all the vulnerable bordering districts. We've sent all the samples of travellers and colleges students who tested positive, to 3-4 genomic sequencing labs & are awaiting results for 5-6 days, he added.
Highlighting the need for monitoring all international arrivals in the view of the new Covid variant Omicron, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked officials to review plans for easing international travel restrictions in light of the emerging new evidence.
Countries from where the travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India are South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Israel, Hong Kong, countries in Europe including the UK.
(with agency inputs)