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Home / Jharkhand / Health department directs 24 districts to strictly screen foreign travellers for Omicron variant

Health department directs 24 districts to strictly screen foreign travellers for Omicron variant

A line-list of overseas passengers with travel history in the last 14 days sent to concerned deputy commissioners for tracking and testing
Representational image
Representational image
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Animesh Bisoee   |   Jamshedpur   |   Published 01.12.21, 02:13 AM

The Jharkhand health department has directed all the deputy commissioners of the 24 districts in the state to strictly screen all passengers coming from overseas for Covid-19 new variant Omicron.

The health department has on Monday sent a line-list of overseas passengers with travel history in the last 14 days and who have come to different districts of Jharkhand to the concerned deputy commissioners of the districts for tracking and testing of such passengers. 

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“We get the line-list of overseas passengers coming to our state from respective state health authorities deputed at the international airports. We have already furnished to the deputy commissioners line-list of passengers with foreign travel history in the last 14 days on Monday so that they can be tested for Covid-19 through RT-PCR,” said Dr Praveen Karn in charge of the state surveillance unit.

“If they are found positive, their samples would have to be sent for genome sequencing at the Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar to know the variant of Covid-19 while the concerned passengers will have to be admitted at an isolation facility. The district administration will also have to do contact tracing of all such overseas passengers and testing of all the contacts,” Karn said.

Additional chief secretary health Arun Kumar Singh in a letter sent to all deputy commissioners on Monday has directed that sample collection of all overseas passengers would have to be done based on the line-list within 48 hours.

“Rigorous surveillance of international passengers for obtaining past travel details of passengers coming through international flights should be reviewed at the district level by sending all positive samples for genome sequencing in a prompt manner. The contacts of these international travellers must be closely tracked and tested at the earliest. Samples should be collected on a priority basis within 48 hours of receiving the line list of international travellers,” the letter directs.

It also mentions that apart from Botswana and South Africa and Hong Kong there are countries on the list of ‘at at risk’ along with new countries like Brazil, Israel, Bangladesh, China, European countries, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and Singapore.

Thermal scanning was reinforced at the Birsa Munda Airport on Tuesday. “Symptomatic passengers found during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility and if tested positive their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocols,” it states.

Significantly, Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi does not have facilities for international flights.

The letter claims that due to the decline in Covid-19 cases in the state enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour has also shown a sharp decline and asks district officials to “augment their enforcement efforts on covid appropriate behaviour.”

It also asks for ramping up testing, contact tracing, along with augmentation of health infrastructure.

It also asks districts to accelerate the vaccination coverage, especially among priority populations.

 



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