Test must for fliers from at-risk nations, alert to be raised on Bangladesh border

Test must for fliers from at-risk nations, alert to be raised on Bangladesh border
© Provided by The Indian Express

Chief Secretary Hari Krishna Dwivedi on Friday chaired a meeting with all concerned secretaries, district magistrates, police officers and Kolkata airport to discuss steps to check the spread of the new Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus to the state.

It was decided that overseas passengers would be divided into two groups: those flying in from ‘at risk’ countries and those arriving from ‘non-risky’ countries. While the concerns are mostly centred around passengers from ‘at risk’ countries, 5 per cent of fliers from ‘non-risk’ countries would also have to undergo RT-PCR test upon landing.

If the RT-PCR reports return negative, the passengers from ‘at risk’ nations would be asked to observe a seven-day home quarantine. They would have to go in for the RT-PCR test again on the eighth day and only if they test negative can they return to their normal lives.

If a passenger tests positive, he will have to get himself admitted to the Covid isolation ward of a hospital. His sample would then be sent for genome sequencing which will help determine if the passenger concerned has caught the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Till genome sequencing report arrives, he will undergo the general Covid-19 treatment. If it is determined that the passenger has been infected with the new variant, he will be shifted to a specialised Omicron isolation ward where he will undergo treatment.

A senior state official said, “Bangladesh is also being seen as a vulnerable country with regard to the new Omicron variant. Hence, a high level of alertness would also be maintained on the India-Bangladesh border. The BSF has been advised accordingly.”

Meanwhile, West Bengal recorded 608 new Covid-19 cases and 13 related deaths over the last 24 hours, a bulletin issued by the state health department stated on Friday.

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