SOPs on testing and surveillance of incoming international passengers will be reviewed

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Sunday chaired an urgent meeting in wake of new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’ wherein overall global situation was comprehensively reviewed and preventive measures in place and their further strengthening was discussed.

This meeting by the Home Secretary comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with top Health Ministry officials, where he was briefed on the new variant Omicron and its characteristics, its impact in other countries, and its implications for India.

In a series of tweets, the Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed about the meeting and shed light on the decisions taken.

“It was decided in the meeting that the Government will review Standard Operating Procedure on testing and surveillance of incoming international passengers, especially for those countries identified ‘at risk’ category,” said a tweet by the Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

“The meeting was held with various experts, Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Dr. Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to Prime Minister, & senior officers from Health, Civil Aviation and other Ministries,” another tweet by the Spokesperson, MHA informed.

“Genomic surveillance for variants to be further strengthened and intensified. Airport Health Officials (APHOs) and Port Health Officials (PHOs) to be sensitized for strict supervision of testing protocol at airports/ ports,” the Spokesperson further noted.

“Decision on effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passengers service, to be reviewed, as per evolving global scenario,” it added.
“Closer watch on emerging pandemic situation within the country will be maintained,” the Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs mentioned.
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