File photo of international passengers arriving at Amritsar Airport in Punjab waiting at counters for completion of COVID-19 tests, on December 11, 2021.
File photo of international passengers arriving at Amritsar Airport in Punjab waiting at counters for completion of COVID-19 tests, on December 11, 2021.AAI/Twitter

Check incoming international travellers amid rising Covid cases, States told

New Delhi, June 29, 2022

The Centre on Wednesday directed States and Union Territories (UTs) to carry out surveillance of incoming international travellers as part of a revised surveillance strategy amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.

All international travellers arriving in India and testing positive for COVID-19 shall be sequenced, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter to states.

"Various actions as per revised surveillance guidelines that need to be undertaken by all states and UTs is surveillance of incoming international travellers. This will include random screening of 2 per cent of passengers in each incoming flight into India by RT-PCR," he said in the letter.

With regards to the sentinel sites surveillance, all health facilities will report influenza-like illness (ILI) cases. "All district survillance officers will be responsible to analyse the data and a proportion (1 in 20 i.e. 5 per cent) of such ILI cases shall be tested through RT-PCR. Futhermore, monitoring of Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases in all district hospitals and selected tertiary hospitals and undertaking their RT-PCR testing for Covid-19. State IDSPs shall share the data so generated on a fortnight basis," the letter reads.

The Union Health Secretary further asked the states to identify and establish suitable linkage between sentinel sites and INSACOG network laboratories to send samples for genome sequencing. The labs testing for COVID-19 should upload their data on the ICMR portal.

The Health Ministry has also asked for sending the positive samples from large clusters and outbreaks in the community and unusual events for whole genome sequencing.

IANS

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