The center on Sunday wrote a letter to the states and UTs over the possible threat of new Covid variant B.1.1.529 which has been designated as the Variant of Concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization. The center has urged states and UTs to do rigorous surveillance of international passengers.
“ln view of the possible threat that this VoC can pose to the nation, it is imperative thatthe intensive containment, active surveillance, increased coverage of vaccination and Covid Appropriate Behaviour must be enforced in the field in a very proactive manner to effectivelymanage this VoC”, said the letter to the states and UTs.
“lt is essential that the disease surveillance network in the country is geared up forrigorous follow up of all international travelers from all countries especially countries designated as “At Risk”. The letter said that there is already a reporting mechanism for obtaining past travel details of passengers coming through international flights this should be reviewed at your level and the protocol provided by this Ministry should be strictly ensured including testing on disembarkation of international travelers coming from “At Risk” Countries and sending all positive samples for genome sequencing to INSACOG Labs in a prompt manner.
The center has also asked the states and UTs to enhance the Covid testing and strict monitoring of the hotspots.