Karnataka tightens screening of international flyers as new Covid variant  raises alarm

All international flyers travelling from and transitioning through high-risk countries should be subjected to rigorous screening and testing, a circular said.

Published: 26th November 2021 07:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2021 07:06 PM   |  A+A-

A woman passenger shows her stamped hand as she exits Bhubaneswar airport after arriving from Bengaluru. (Photo | Biswanath Swain, EPS)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Keeping in view the new COVID-19 variant, B.1.1529, detected from Botswana (three cases) and South Africa (six cases), the Karnataka government has increased its surveillance on all international travellers. 

A three-pronged strategy will be followed by screening and testing them and their contacts, routine sentinel surveillance and surge surveillance, as well as timely sending of RT-PCR positive samples to designated INSACOG Genomic Sequencing Laboratories (IGSL) "Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong, are already in the list of 'at risk' country categories of international travellers coming to India. 

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Is it, therefore, imperative that all international flyers travelling from and transitioning through these countries, and other 'at at risk' countries should be subjected to rigorous screening and testing," said a circular issued by the Health and Family Welfare department.

The contacts of these international travellers should be closely tracked and tested as per the guidelines. It should also be ensured that the samples of such international travellers testing positive for COVID-19 should be sent to designated IGSLs and sequenced on priority. 

District administrations have been strictly instructed to adhere to the test, track, treat, vaccinate principle to ensure the stringent implementation of containment measures and to prevent the spread of variants of concern or variants of interest.


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