Tuesday, August 16, 2022

International travellers to be tested for Covid

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

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 The government has asked states and Union Territories to start tests of incoming international travellers. The move comes with Covid cases surging.

All international travellers arriving in India and testing positive for Covid-19 will have to 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,” Bhusan’s letter mentioned.

“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. Furthermore, 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.”

— Ministry of Health

All health facilities have been asked to 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. Furthermore, 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 said.

IANS reported that the Union Health Secretary has also asked the states to identify and establish suitable linkages between illness 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 that positive samples be sent from large clusters and outbreaks in the community.

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