India’s government will review plans to ease travel restrictions after a new SARS-COV2 virus spread rapidly and sparked global alarm. Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed senior officials at a meeting that officials needed to be proactive given the new threat.
WHO has identified B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern, and early analysis of the variant suggests it would pose a more serious threat than the Delta variant, which has previously caused disruptions in several countries sexual influence.
“The Prime Minister stressed the need to monitor all international arrivals, test them in accordance with guidelines, and pay particular attention to countries identified as ‘at risk’. The Prime Minister also asked officials to review plans to ease international travel restrictions based on emerging evidence, ” the government said in a statement.
“Intensified containment and active surveillance should continue in clusters reporting higher cases,” the statement continued.
“People need to be more cautious and take appropriate precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing,” the prime minister said at the meeting.
The new directive comes after the aviation ministry announced it was easing travel restrictions and canceling the conditional resumption of scheduled international flights from December 15.
Countries such as the UK, Germany, Singapore, Israel, France and Italy have already restricted air travel from southern Africa, where this new variant is wreaking havoc.
Several Indian states have announced that they will increase their vigilance against passengers from international destinations.
Karnataka said RT-PCR testing for international travellers is mandatory and mandatory home quarantine under a new directive issued by the state government.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister directed officials to coordinate with states to ensure adequate buffer stocks of various medicines and asked them to work with states to review the functioning of healthcare infrastructure, including paediatric facilities.
The Prime Minister also called for the regulated genome sequencing of samples from international travellers and communities.