Omicron Variant Latest Update: A day after two cases of the new Omicron variant were confirmed in Karnataka, several states across the country have revised guidelines and have been directed to remain vigilant and ramp up their preparedness against a possible splurge in Covid cases. After the Health Ministry’s confirmation of two people testing positive for the new strain, India became the 30th country in the world to report what has been termed as “highly-mutated” strain by the WHO. Here’s how states are preparing to tackle the new crisis:Also Read - Jai Hind Writes Jonty Rhodes, Thanks PM Modi And Says His Whole Family Celebrates Republic Day With India

Jammu and Kashmir: Amid fear of Omicron variant, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday issued fresh guidelines making rigorous screening and Covid RT-PCR test mandatory for foreign travellers at the Srinagar International Airport. The new directive stipulated that incoming travellers from ‘At-Risk’ nations will have to undergo home quarantine even if they are tested negative. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary A K Mehta, held to review the situation in the backdrop of the highly mutated Omicron variant, which has been found to have infected people across several nations. Also Read - Singapore Records Low International Arrivals in 2021, Shows Signs of Recovery

“There will be a close tracking and testing of the contacts of travellers who have tested positive,” the order said. It also directed the designated surveillance officers (DSOs) to establish a close coordination with their designated and tagged INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) for expediting results of genomic analysis. Also Read - Indonesia Travel Update: Indonesia Reopens For Singapore Travellers to Boost Tourism

Karnataka: The Karnataka government on Friday announced certain preventive measures that include compulsory two dose vaccination for entering malls, cinema halls or theatres, and for parents of school or college going students. Intensifying screening of international passengers at airports, asking educational institutions to postpone their public events, and limiting gatherings, meetings, conferences to 500 people, are among the other measures announced by the government. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai chaired a meeting with experts, senior Ministers and officials in the wake of two cases of Omicron variant being detected in the state.

Sharing details about measures decided by the government, state minister R Ashoka said international travellers arriving in the state will be tested at the airports; only after their reports come out negative, they will be allowed to go out, and for the benefit of the passengers, instructions have been given to set up more testing units there.

Uttar Pradesh: Earlier in the day, the Uttar Pradesh government intensified screening of passengers and strengthened surveillance at the borders of the state. As per report, the state government has asked officials to further improve surveillance with a focus on airports to ensure that normalcy prevails in the state. On the other hand, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed the authorities to intensify genome sequencing of Covid-19 samples. Notably, the genome sequencing of samples is being carried out at Lucknow’s KGMU and PGI at a rapid pace.

Delhi: Taking preventive measures, the Delhi government has also made RT-PCR tests mandatory for all passengers arriving from countries of “at-risk” category. Those countries include the UK, South Africa, Botswana, Brazil, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. In the meantime, the Delhi airport authority has made adequate arrangements, including setting up of multiple counters for Covid tests, to ensure that fliers don’t face inconvenience.

Maharashtra: The Uddhav Thackeray government has made it mandatory for all international travellers to produce details of their travel over the last 15 days before boarding the flight to Mumbai. The passengers arriving from “at-risk” countries have to be de-planed on priority and will have separate counters for checking, the state advisory said. The state government also made institutional quarantine mandatory for passengers coming from “at-risk” countries with a stipulation for additional RT-PCR tests on the second, fourth and seventh days.