Odisha To Resume Random COVID Testing Of Foreign Returnees From Tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: Amid the threat of a renewed COVID surge, the Odisha government is planning to resume random testing and whole genome sequencing of foreign returnees from December 24 (Saturday).

According to Health officials, the early identification of cases and variants would help prevent further spread of the infection.

After reports of a China returnee testing positive in Gujarat with the BF.7 variant, the officials do not want to take any chance as the state will be hosting the hockey World Cup in January.

While the variant was first identified in Gujarat as far back as July, Odisha had reported the strain in a single sample tested on September 30. However, it was not linked to increased severity or infectiousness in the two states.

The COVID restrictions will be strictly imposed at all international airports.

Notably, the state government will be holding a crucial meeting on COVID management at the Lok Seva Bhawan at 12.30 pm on Friday.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya made a suo motu statement in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday on India’s preparedness. “We are constantly monitoring the situation. There are no direct flights between China and India but people come via other routes,” he said.

He said the focus is to ensure that no unknown variant of the virus enters India and at the same time, there is no impediment to travelling.

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