Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will chair a meeting on Thursday with the states on airport screening and surveillance with Airport Public Health Officials (APHOs) and Port Health Officials (PHOs).
This comes amid the rising concerns of the new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’ which is being reported by foreign countries.
The new Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by South Africa on November 24.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s first patient of the Omicron variant, who resides in Thane district, was on Wednesday discharged from a hospital after testing negative for the infection. The patient, a 33-year-old marine engineer from Kalyan Dombivli municipal area, had arrived at the Delhi airport from South Africa via Dubai in the last week of November. He had boarded the flight from South Africa on November 24. On his arrival at the New Delhi airport his RT-PCR test was conducted. By the time he landed in Mumbai, he was informed by the Delhi airport authorities that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Maharashtra health authorities had then sent his swab samples for genome sequencing and the test report later confirmed that he was carrying the Omicron strain. The man had joined his duty on a private ship in April this year and was on high seas since then. He had not yet taken any vaccine against COVID-19.
According to the Centre, the countries designated as “at-risk” are European countries, including the UK, and South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.
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