A total of 6 persons have been found positive for Covid-19 travelling from 'at risk' countries on the first day of the operation of the revised guidelines for international travellers.
A total of 11 international flights have landed at various airports across the nation coming from 'at risk' countries since the implementation of the revised guidelines in the wake of new Covid variant Omicron.
These flights carrying 3,476 passengers landed from 'at risk' countries from midnight to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, said the Union health ministry.
All 3,476 passengers were administered RT-PCR tests at the airports and 6 out of them were found Covid-19 positive. The samples of the positive passengers have been sent to INSACOG labs for Whole Genomic Sequencing.
The government revised the guidelines for international travellers as a public health response measure for the control and management of the new variant of Covid-19 which has been designated as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization.
"Government of India continues to keep track of the evolving situation, and supporting states, UTs in the fight against the pandemic through 'whole of Government' approach", the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The Centre on Tuesday advised the states and UTs to ensure preparedness of health infrastructure like availability of ICUs, O2 beds, ventilators, etc. and to implement ECRP-II, with the focus on rural areas and paediatric cases.
In a virtual meeting with states and UTs on the public health response measures, Dr Balram Bhargav, DG ICMR, said that the Omicron variant doesn't escape RT-PCR and RAT tests. Hence, the states and UTs were advised to ramp up testing for prompt and early identification of any cases.
The states were advised target Covid testing of passengers from countries not "at-risk", as part of the ramped up testing.
TN on high alert
The Tamil Nadu health department is on high alert after a person tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia. The development has rung warning bells in Tamil Nadu, as many people from the state stay in Saudi Arabia and frequently travel back to their home state.
According to the officials, the person -- whose identity has not been revealed by the Saudi authorities -- had been to one of the African countries recently. However, sources in the Tamil Nadu health department denied any detection of Omicron cases in the state.
Tamil Nadu has several people working in Saudi Arabia and the new Omicron case is of a person who had reached that country a few days before.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian told IANS: "It is not that there is any threat, but we are taking precautions as the Gulf countries have a good connect with Tamil Nadu and many other parts of south India."
(With inputs from IANS)