Covid update: New variant prompts Health Dept to screen international travellers : The Tribune India

Alonzo Osche

Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 4

Following reports of new Covid mutations across the globe, the Health Department has once again started screening international travellers.

Officials of the Health Department said they would be screening travellers coming from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. Besides, travellers from Europe and the Middle East would also be screened by the Health Department, they added.

The Health Department has mandated 14 days home quarantine for travellers coming from the listed countries.

Dr Prince Sodhi, Civil Surgeon, Patiala, said travellers would only be home isolated. However, health officials would remain in constant touch with travellers during the quarantine period, he added.

“We will be taking samples of travellers on the seventh day of their arrival. Until now, six travellers from the UK have been under surveillance,” he said.

Notably, a new variant of Covid, C.1.2., which was first reported from South Africa, has now spread to China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, England, New Zealand Portugal and Switzerland. Following this, health officials after receiving directions from the state Health Department have started screening travellers from these countries.

Dr Sumeet Singh, district epidemiologist, said steps to quarantine and test travellers were taken after cases of new variants were reported from these countries.

“The decision to screen and test travellers has been taken as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of new variants. However, as of now there is no need to panic,” he added.

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