January27 , 2022

Centre-States Meet Today To Review Omicron Rules At Airports: 10 Points



Omicron: The variant, first tagged as B.1.1.529, is the newest coronavirus pressure to be detected (File)

New Delhi:
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will meet state and UT officers to assessment Covid testing and surveillance measures at worldwide airports. India yesterday enforced strict guidelines for international arrivals, significantly from nations with Omicron circumstances.

Here are the highest 10 factors on this huge story:

  1. This morning’s assembly comes after a day of chaos – lengthy queues and prolonged ready occasions for Covid check outcomes – at worldwide airports within the nation, in addition to uncertainty over testing and quarantine protocols in Maharashtra, which introduced a extra stringent algorithm than that by the centre.

  2. Maharashtra had directed all worldwide passengers, together with these from international locations not deemed ‘in danger’ by the Union Health Ministry, to take RT-PCR assessments (and return a unfavorable outcome to depart Mumbai airport) after which endure 14 days of residence quarantine. The state additionally directed home passengers (inbound from different states) to carry a unfavorable RT-PCR check dated to inside 48 hours of journey.

  3. These rules were challenged by the centre, which has urged Maharashtra to “align with orders issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare” to make sure uniform implementation of guidelines. However, Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray final night time informed NDTV the state needed to be careful because it had been hardest hit by Covid.

  4. Nevertheless, final night Maharashtra revised testing and quarantine rules for worldwide passengers – from international locations ‘in danger’ and others. Mandatory institutional quarantine for these from ‘in danger’ international locations was deferred until 12 am Friday (i.e., midnight at this time). An additional revision is anticipated at this time.

  5. The rule requiring home passengers to carry unfavorable RT-PCR assessments dated to inside 48 hours of the journey stays in place presently, regardless of the centre voicing disapproval. Under current central pointers, totally vaccinated home travellers needn’t carry RT-PCR check outcomes.

  6. From yesterday all passengers from ‘at risk’ countries have been tested for COVID-19 on arrival. They should return a unfavorable outcome to depart the airport. Two per cent (chosen at random) of arrivals from different international locations are additionally being examined. They can go away earlier than the result’s declared.

  7. The new rules led to long queues and chaos at airports in Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, the place incoming international passengers needed to line up (and pay) for Covid assessments. Passengers choosing the antigen check needed to wait for two.5 to a few hours, whereas these taking the PCR check needed to spend practically six hours. This was along with finishing customs and immigration formalities.

  8. Maharashtra and Delhi have both announced six Covid cases every amongst travellers coming back from ‘in danger’ international locations, together with South Africa, which is the place the Omicron variant was first detected. The variant infecting these 12 travellers is just not but identified; their samples have been despatched for genome sequencing. A passenger coming back from South Africa and two relations tested positive in Chandigarh.

  9. On Tuesday the Health Minister informed Parliament India has yet to report an Omicron Covid case. The centre has mentioned current assessments can choose up the variant (based mostly on the presence of a sure gene), however the WHO has said this is not a definitive criterion and samples should be sequenced for correct identification.

  10. As of November 26, the ‘in danger’ international locations are these in Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel. Of these, some European international locations (together with the UK, Germany, Spain and Belgium), South Africa, Israel and Hong Kong have confirmed Omicron circumstances, as does Japan. The United States at this time confirmed its Omicron Covid case.