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Review plans of easing international travel restrictions: PM Modi in light of new COVID-19 variant COVID-19
Image Credit: PIB

Review plans of easing international travel restrictions: PM Modi in light of new COVID-19 variant

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Nov 2021, 05:23 pm

New Delhi/UNI: In the wake of new COVID-19 variant 'Omicron' cases being reported in Israel, Botswana and Hongkong, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday directed officials to review plans of easing international travel restrictions.

The Prime Minister's direction came during a review meeting chaired by him virtually with top officials concerned over COVID-19 and vaccination, after the former was briefed about the new variant, and its implications for India.

At the meeting, Modi highlighted the need for monitoring all international arrivals, their testing as per guidelines, with a specific focus on countries identified ‘at risk’, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) statement said.

He directed the officials that genome sequencing samples be collected from international travellers and community as per norms, tested through the network of labs already established under Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), and early warning signal identified for Covid-19 management.

Modi also asked them to work closely with the state governments to ensure that there is proper awareness at the state and district level.

Modi chairing COVID-19 meeting in New Delhi on Saturday | Image Credit: PIBModi chairing COVID-19 meeting in New Delhi on Saturday | Image Credit: PIB

He also directed that intensive containment and active surveillance should continue in clusters reporting higher cases and required technical support be provided to states which are reporting higher cases presently.

The Prime Minister also urged the countrymen to continue wearing masks and follow social distancing.

"In light of the new threat, people need to be more cautious and need to take proper precautions like masking and social distancing," the statement quoted the PM as saying.

Reviewing the progress of ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign in the meeting which lasted for two hours, Modi said that there is a need to increase the second dose coverage and that states need to be sensitised on the need to ensure that all those who have got the first dose are given the second dose timely.

He also asked the officials to coordinate with States to ensure proper functioning of PSA oxygen plants & ventilators.

The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Home Secretary AK Bhalla, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India and other senior officials.