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Karnataka government issues alert on new Covid-19 variant
South Africa and Hong Kong and also including all other 'at risk' countries.
After the emergence of a new variant of the novel coronavirus in three countries, the Karnataka government has decided to closely track contacts of those arriving from South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong.
The instruction issued to health officials across the state by Principal Secretary T K Anil Kumar who said that those arriving from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong, where cases of the new B.1.1529 variant were confirmed, “should be subjected to rigorous screening and testing”.
"In view of reporting cases of Covid l9 variant 8.1.1529 in Botswana (3 cases), South Africa (6 cases) and Hong Kong (l case), which has significantly high number of mutations has raised serious Public Health implications," the statement read.
"The importance of meticulous implementation and rigorous monitoring of the three-pronged surveillance strategy of screening and testing Intemational Travellers & their contacts, routine sentinel surveillance and surge surveillance, and timely sending of RT-PCR positive samples to designated INSACoG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (lGSLs) is already reiterated in the earlier communications," the Principal Secretary said.
According to the statement, Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong are already in the list of "at risk" country category of international travelers coming to India. It is therefore imperative that all intemational travelers travelling from and transiting through Botswana.
South Africa and Hong Kong and also including all other 'at risk' countries indicated in Annexure 3 of reference (l) should be subjected to rigorous screening and testing as per guidelines.
The contacts of these international travellers should also be closely tracked and tested as per the guidelines. It should also be ensured that the samples of such intemational travellers testing positive for Covid-19 should be sent to designated IGSLs for Genome sequencing and these samples should be sequenced on priority at IGSLS.
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