New Omicron guidelines for international passengers as of December 1 Europe South Africa Latest news from Covid

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Passenger check-in at the Lufthansa counter in Johannesburg. WHO has urged countries around the world not to impose a flight ban on countries in southern Africa amid concerns over the new variant of the omicron.

Strong points

  • New guidelines require all passengers coming to India from at-risk countries to undergo Covid testing
  • Passengers found negative can leave the airport but must undergo home isolation for 7 days
  • States have also been advised of rigorous oversight of international passengers

As cases of Omicron variants continue to surface in other countries, mainly in European countries, the new guidelines for international passengers arriving in India will take effect from December 1 (today). The revised guidelines for international arrivals were released by the Center on November 28. The Center on Tuesday advised states and UTs to step up testing and undertake effective monitoring of international passengers, although it said no cases of the new variant have yet been found. in the countryside.

Revised Guidelines for International Passengers | Best points

  • The updated guidelines require that all travelers (regardless of their COVID-19 vaccine status) coming to India from countries identified as “at-risk countries” are required to undergo a COVID-19 test after arriving at the airport. upon their arrival.
  • This will be in addition to pre-departure COVID-19 testing carried out 72 hours before departure.
  • For passengers found positive in these tests, they will be isolated and treated according to the clinical management protocol in addition to their samples also collected for whole genome sequencing.
  • Passengers found negative can leave the airport but must undergo home isolation for 7 days, followed by repeated testing on the 8th day of their arrival in India, followed by 7 days of self-monitoring.
  • The guidelines also state that 5% of travelers from countries that are not in the “risk category” will also be randomly tested at airports for Covid.
  • Samples of all people who test positive for Covid-19, either at airports under home isolation or during random sampling, will also be sent for full genomic sequencing to identified laboratories of the INSACOG network to determine the presence variants of SARS-CoV-2 (including Omicron).
  • In Goa, all international passengers from any of the 12 countries (countries at risk) affected by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus will need to remain isolated for 14 days.

Delhi’s Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said on Tuesday it had asked all relevant authorities to ensure strict adherence to the prescribed guidelines for international arrivals issued by the MoHFW from December 1 and until further notice.

Meanwhile, in Maharashtra, 6 passengers, arriving from South Africa or other high-risk countries, had tested positive for COVID. Out of 6, one is each from Mumbai Corporation, Kalyan-Dombivali Corporation, Meera-Bhayandar Corporation and Pune while 2 are from Nigeria in Pimpri-Chinchwad Corporation. | READ MORE

Their samples have been sent for genomic sequencing and their contact tracing exercise is ongoing. All of those passengers, although they tested positive for Covid-19, are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, the state government said.

International passengers from countries at risk can be disembarked as a priority and separate counters will be organized by MIAL and the airport authority for their control. They will have to undergo a mandatory 7-day institutional quarantine and an RT-PCR test to be performed on days 2, 4 and 7 for them, the government of Maharashtra said.

In Uttarakhand, the chief minister said they would increase random testing as well as the number of other tests. Our goal is to have 25,000 tests per day. The necessary precautions at stations and airports will be taken, ”he added.

Japan, France report first confirmed case of Omicron

Japan and France confirmed their first cases of the new variant of the coronavirus on Tuesday as countries around the world rushed to shut their doors or find ways to limit its spread as scientists study how bad it could be. damaging.

The World Health Organization has warned that the global risk of the omicron variant is “very high” based on early evidence, saying it could lead to flare-ups with “serious consequences.”

Omicron first reported in South Africa

The B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant was first reported to WHO by South Africa on November 24, 2021 and the WHO Technical Advisory Group on the Evolution of the SARS-CoV virus. 2 (TAG-VE) on November 26, 2021 classified it as a Variant of Concern (VoC) due to the large number of mutations noted in the variant, some of which can make this mutation more transmissible and have immune escape behavior. | READ MORE

Emerging evidence on the matter is being monitored by the Union Health Ministry.

States have also been advised on rigorous monitoring of international passengers, improved testing, monitoring of COVID -19 hot spots, increasing health infrastructure, including taking samples for whole genome sequencing.

As the Union Health Ministry continues to closely monitor the evolving nature of the pandemic, strict adherence to appropriate COVID behavior (use of a mask / face cover, physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene) and vaccination against Covid-19 remain the mainstay of COVID-19 management at the community level.

Europe continues to report more Omicron cases

As of Tuesday, 42 cases of the Omicron variant were confirmed in 10 European Union countries, Reuters said citing the head of the EU’s public health agency.

Authorities in the 27-country EU were analyzing six more “probable” cases, said Andrea Ammon, who chairs the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

She said the confirmed cases were mild or symptomless, although in younger age groups.

Europe could approve vaccine against new variant

The European medicines regulator said on Tuesday it could approve vaccines adapted to target the Omicron variant of the coronavirus within three to four months if necessary, but that existing vaccines would continue to provide protection.

READ ALSO | Unnecessary Hype About Covid Omicron Variant? Here’s what the first South African doctor said to sound the alarm

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