Covid : International travellers under lens as worry over new variant grows

Health Dept to screen people coming from SA, Hong Kong

Covid : International travellers under lens as worry over new variant grows

A health worker collects a swab sample from a woman for the Covid test at Kheri Jatta village in Patiala on Sunday. Rajesh Sachar

Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 28

Amid concerns over the new Covid variant – omicron, the Patiala Health Department will be rigorously screening international travellers coming from and transiting through South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.

The travellers will be subjected to home quarantine and tested for Covid on the eighth day of their arrival. If anyone tests positive, he/she would be put in institutional isolation and a sample would be sent for genome sequencing to ascertain the new variant.

Travellers from the UK, Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore and Israel will also face similar screening, said the Health Department.

Detection of the new more potent variant is said to have prompted the Health Department to take such measures.

It has been learned that 11 travellers from high-risk countries have landed in the district in the past 10 days.

District Epidemiologist Dr Sumeet Singh said they would be testing all the travellers coming from high-risk countries, including South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.

“As of now, none of the travellers from high-risk countries has tested positive. People should religiously follow the Covid appropriate behaviour as the cases are rising in the neighbouring states,” said Dr Sumeet Singh.

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