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New Covid-19 variant from South Africa triggers alert in India

26/11/2021 at 2:59 PM

New Delhi, Nov 26: The Union Health Ministry on Thursday has directed all the states to rigorously screen and test travellers coming from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong after the South African authorities have detected a new variant of novel coronavirus ‘B.1.1.529’ with high mutation rates.

“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,” said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

“lt is therefore imperative that all international travellers traveling from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong are subjected to rigorous screening and testing. The contacts of these international travellers must also be closely tracked and tested as per MoHFW guidelines”, he added.

So far, India didn’t report any cases with the new Covid-19 variant.

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