India’s vaccines are effective against the BF.7 variant of Omicron, Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday. The variant was detected in India some three months back and is not listed as a “variant of concern” here.

“We carried out genome sequencing and isolated the variant. Indian vaccines are effective against it. It is not a new variant here. We had detected the variant some three months back,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the book “Braving A Viral Storm”, authored by Aashish Chandorkar and Suraj Sudhir, at the Constitution Club.

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The BF.7 variant has been the dominant variant that has been responsible for the surge in cases in China and the USA.

According to Mandaviya, international passengers are being “regularly screened” across all points of entry, that include airports, sea ports and land ports. Nearly 200 passengers have so far tested positive for Covid across random tests carried out by the Union Health Ministry.

“All the positive test reports have been sent for genome sequencing. And so far, we have not detected any new variant or found any variant of concern,” he said adding that the BF.7 variant of the Covid virus has been detected from passengers coming in from China, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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Upload of negative RT-PCR reports on the Air Suvidha portal has been made mandatory for passengers coming in from six countries. Apart from China, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong, the other two countries where the changed rules apply are Japan and South Korea.