New Delhi [India], November 26 (ANI): Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday wrote to the additional Secretary, principal Secretary, secretary of health of all states and Union Territories to adhere to strict implementation of the Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate measures in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in the foreign countries, the relaxation of visa restrictions, and opening up of international travel.
"lt is critical for the States/UTs to adhere to the overarching 'Test-TrackTreat-Vaccinate' principle to ensure stringent implementation of containment measures as per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines," said the letter.
"It has now been reported by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NDMC) that multiple cases of a COVID-19 variant 8.1.1529 have been reported in Botswana (3 cases), South Africa (6 cases) and Honk Kong (1 case). This variant 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," he wrote in the letter.
The Health Secretary said that all the international travellers travelling from and transiting through these countries are subject to "rigorous screening and testing", as per the MoHFW guidelines.
"lt is imperative that ALL international travellers travelling from and transiting through these countries, (they are part of the "at-risk" Country Category of international travellers coming to lndia) and also including all other 'at risk' countries indicated in the revised Guidelines for international Arrivals issued by this Ministry dated 11.11.2021, are subjected to rigorous screening and testing, as per MoHFW Guidelines. The contacts of these international travellers must also be closely tracked and tested as per MoHFW guidelines," said the letter.
The letter further instructed the State Surveillance Officers to establish "close coordination" with Inventure Growth and Securities Limited for expediting results of genomic analysis to undertake necessary public health measures. (ANI)