Bhubaneswar: Restrictions are to be imposed on travellers from three countries – South Africa, Botswana, and Hongkong – after a new Covid-19 variant was detected in the above nations, informed Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET), Odisha, Dr Rama Raman Mohanty on Friday.
As Bhubaneswar is an entry point for international travellers, they should be compulsorily tested for Covid-19 on arrival and also put into quarantine as there are chances that the test may not detect the new variant.
In a letter to the states on Thursday, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said that, as reported by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), multiple cases of a Covid-19 variant — 8.1.1529 — have been reported in Botswana (three), South Africa (six) and Hong Kong (one).
This variant is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations, and thus has serious public health implications for the country in view of the recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel.
“It is imperative that all international travellers travelling from and transiting through these countries and also including all other ‘at risk’ countries are subjected to rigorous screening and testing. The contacts of these international travellers must also be closely tracked and tested,” said Bhushan.