January 2022
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Omicron: India to review Covid SOP, countries impose travel curbs, and other key developments today
New Delhi: In view of the threat posed by the Omicron variant of Covid-19, an urgent meeting was chaired by Union Home Secretary Rajesh Bhushan after a review of the situation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Sunday.

MHA said that taking into consideration the current global scenario, ways to strengthen preventive measures were discussed in the meeting. The Centre will now review SOP on testing and surveillance of international passengers, especially from countries in the ‘at risk’ category. Moreover, genomic surveillance for Covid-19 variants will be further intensified.

As reports emerge of the Omicron variant spreading to more countries and the Centre mulls steps to prevent the possibility of a fresh spike in Covid-19 cases, here are the top developments of the day:

With WHO having classified Omicron as a variant of concern, the Health Ministry has directed the states to review the detailed travel history of passengers arriving via international flights and to absolutely ensure that travellers from “at-risk” countries are tested. All samples which test Covid-positive should be promptly sent for genome sequencing, the ministry said.

Union Health Secretary Bhushan, while highlighting to the states the need for rigorous surveillance of international passengers, said that there is “already a reporting mechanism for obtaining past travel details of passengers coming through international flight”.

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