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Amid Omicron scare, Union Health Secretary to review COVID-19 situation with States today

Zee News logo Zee News 30-11-2021 Zee News
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New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan will on Tuesday hold a review meeting with the States on the new COVID-19 variant 'Omicron'. This comes a day after the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare revised the international travel guidelines in view of this new coronavirus variant.


According to an advisory issued by the Centre, the self-declaration board form on Air Suvidha Portal, which has the travel history of the last 14 days of all international travellers arriving in India, is filled completely before boarding.

The new guidelines also said that airlines shall put in place a proper randomization process for testing about 5 per cent of the passengers in flights on arrival. "Additional RT-PCR facilities, as required, may also be set up at all airports," it added. 

So far, no case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus has been detected in India but concerns over its outbreaks have mounted. The Karnataka Health Minister has said the sample of one of the two recent South Africa returnees appears "different from the Delta variant".

All this comes even as experts stressed vaccines remain a critical tool. The WHO said it is "not yet clear" if the newly-detected variant is more transmissible or causes more severe disease, but authorities across states in India ramped up efforts to deal with the evolving situation.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the situation is being closely monitored in consultation with other ministries regarding "any further decision" on resuming scheduled international passenger services.

The World Health Organization had on Monday warned that the global risk from the omicron variant is 'very high' based on early evidence, saying the mutated coronavirus could lead to surges with 'severe consequences.'

The UN health agency, in a technical paper issued to member states, said "considerable uncertainties'' remain about the variant that was first detected days ago in southern Africa. But it said it is possible the variant has mutations that could enable it to escape an immune-system response and boost its ability to spread from one person to another.

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