No case of a new variant detected at Delhi airport among people coming from “at risk” countries: Lab – .

No case of a new variant detected at Delhi airport among people coming from “at risk” countries: Lab – .

No case of the new variant of the coronavirus B.1.1.529 was detected at Delhi airport among passengers in transit or coming from countries “at risk”, said Friday the laboratory responsible for carrying out the tests.

The Center on Thursday called on all states and Union territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travelers arriving or transiting through South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana, where the variant B.1.1.529 was detected.

Various countries such as Great Britain, Germany, Singapore, Israel, France and Italy have restricted air travel from southern Africa where the new variant of the coronavirus, which has serious health consequences, has been reported.

Read more: AstraZeneca examines the impact of a new variant of Covid on the vaccine, cocktail of antibodies

The Union Health Ministry said on Friday that countries in Europe, including the United Kingdom, and South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand , Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel were put in risk category ”.

Passengers from “at risk” countries must hand in their samples at the airport for RT-PCR testing, according to the rules of the Union Ministry of Health.

“In accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Health, the Genetrsings diagnostic center continues to rigorously test all incoming passengers to or in transit through ‘at risk’ countries,” its founder Gauri Agarwal said in a statement.

There is no significant increase in the number of passengers tested, but coordination with India’s SARS-CoV-2 genomics consortium continues, she said.

“We are in constant contact with them to know the genomic sequence of the samples tested at the airport and to determine if it belongs to the mutated strain,” noted Agarwal.

While B.1.1.529 was to be called “Nu”, the World Health Organization (WHO) named it “Omicron” on Friday.

The Delhi airport facility was equipped to test even over 15,000 samples per day and there have been no cases of the B.1.1.529 variant in the facility so far, Agarwal said. .

“We are also coordinating with the authorities for our other airport facilities in Srinagar and Mohali; nor did we come across a case of the new variant there, ”she noted.

The Genestrings Diagnostic Center also faced similar challenges earlier and the experience is helping the lab meet expectations, she said.

Meanwhile, India announced on Friday that scheduled international passenger flights would resume from December 15 after a 20-month suspension induced by the coronavirus.

According to the Center’s ruling on Friday, airlines will be allowed to operate 50% of their pre-Covid scheduled passenger flights between India and South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana from December 15.

The latest variant is the most heavily mutated version discovered to date.

First identified in South Africa earlier this week, the strain has already spread to neighboring countries, including Botswana, where it has reportedly been detected in fully vaccinated people.

The new variant has been reported by scientists due to an alarming number of cutting edge mutations that could make the virus more resistant to vaccines, increase its transmissibility and lead to more severe Covid-19 symptoms.

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