New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Friday released an updated list of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing amid new Covid-19 variant concerns. In the new list, the Centre also added Hong Kong and Israel after positive virus cases were detected in the two countries.Also Read - India vs South Africa Live Streaming 3rd ODI in India: When and Where to Watch

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare adds Hong Kong and Israel to the list of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing, tweeted news agency ANI. The Union Health Ministry on Thursday had directed states to ensure ‘rigorous screening and testing’ of all international travellers landing in India from ‘at risk’ countries. Also Read - China's PLA Has Found 'Missing' Arunachal Boy: Indian Army

The statement also noted that it was “imperative that all international travellers travelling from and transiting through these nations and including other ‘at risk’ nations indicated in revised guidelines for arrivals are subjected to rigorous screening and testing. Their contacts must also be tracked and tested.” Also Read - IND vs SA Dream11 Team Prediction, Fantasy Cricket Hints India vs South Africa 3rd ODI: Captain, Vice-Captain, Playing 11s For Today's India vs South Africa ODI, Injury And Team News of Match at Newlands, Cape Town at 2.00 PM IST January 23 Sunday

Full list of counties that are now under ‘at-risk’ categories are:

European countries, including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

The statement also took cognisance of the face that this new Covid-19 variant (B.11.529) is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations, and thus, “has serious public health implications for the country, in view of recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel.”

About the new COVID variant B.1.1.529

The new COVID-19 variant has been detected in relatively small numbers in Botswana, Hong Kong and South Africa but the authorities are perturbed by its high number of mutations that could evade the body’s immune response and become more transmissible.

World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) earlier today announced that it will meet to discuss whether this variant should be classified as a variant of interest or a variant of concern.