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The Omicron threat: A return to rigid travel restrictions?

Updated on: Dec 04, 2021
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Air passengers must take RTPCR test 72 hours before they travel

Another variant of Covid, Omicron, is terrorising the whole world. According to WHO, Omicron has been detected at least in 38 countries. South Africa is seeing a spike in the number of positive Covid-19 cases as well as new variant Omicron. African countries are not fully vaccinated which worsens the situation even more.

According to WHO, Omicron has a high number of mutations in its spike protein, and evidence suggests that there is an increased risk of reinfection. Researchers and scientists in South Africa are investigating in detail about its severity and transmissibility.

In a report by WHO, hospital admissions in South Africa have risen by 4.2 per cent. Now, WHO has taken measures by sending a surge team to the Gauteng Province to tackle the situation. WHO reports say that it is unclear regarding the transmissibility and severity of the Omicron disease. African countries are now refining operational plans to take measures to handle the situation.

Omicron positive rates are also increasing in several countries. India has witnessed its third Omicron case. Likewise, many countries are now starting to witness the new Covid variant.

New guidelines to travellers

Due to the threat of Omicron cases, the Centre has updated travel guidelines for international travellers and flights. These guidelines stipulate that all the travellers reaching India should comply with Covid-19 precautionary measures.

Air passengers should take RTPCR test 72 hours before they travel. They must also submit a self-declaration form from Air Suvidha which must include all the travel details for the past 14 days. Maharashtra facing the threat of a surge in Omicron has already issued international travel guidelines as a precautionary measure.

Published on December 04, 2021

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