New COVID variant: Screening intensified at Hyderabad Airport

Passengers will have to undergo screening and testing

Hyderabad: New COVID-19 variant has put Telangana state health officials on high alert. The authorities have tightened screening at Hyderabad Airport.

According to a report published in Telangana Today, the health teams at the airport will keenly screen passengers from Botswana, South Africa, Israel, Belgium, and Hong Kong. Those who have transitioned from these countries are also been screened strictly.

These passengers will have to undergo screening and testing which will be done as per the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Health of Family Welfare.

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Apart from them, those who have come in contact with these passengers will be tested as per MoHFW guidelines.

The passengers who test positive will be isolated and their close contacts will be tracked. There is also a proposal to deploy an additional surveillance team at Hyderabad Airport if needed.  

Several countries tighten travel rules

Several countries have restricted travel from southern Africa amid concerns over the new Covid-19 variant.

The B.1.1.529 variant, first detected in South Africa, is reportedly more transmissible and has been classified as a “Variant of Concern” by the World Health Organization.

Resumption of international flights

Meanwhile, the central government on Friday announced the resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services from December 15.

Passenger air services were suspended in late March 2020 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19. While domestic flight services resumed from May 25, 2020, international flight services were only maintained via ‘Bubble Agreements’.

At present, India has air bubble pacts with 28 countries.

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