LS to discuss Covid-19 situation, new variant today

New Delhi: A discussion on the Covid-19 situation would be held in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said.

The discussions will include the situation regarding the new Covid variant that has been reported. The debate would be held under Rule 193 which is for discussion on a matter of urgent public importance.

The threat of another surge of COVID-19 led by Omicron is looming large over some countries where cases of the new variant have been detected.

Panic around the new variant is continuing to mount as the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that the variant poses a very high global risk on the basis of early studies. The global health agency has also warned that the variant could lead to surges in cases having severe consequences.

Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that so far, no cases of Omicron has been reported in India. He also assured that the diagnostic and health infrastructure of the country is equipped enough to tackle any emergency situation.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has updated international travel guidelines in light of multiple countries reporting cases of Omicron. The Centre has said that all travellers coming from countries categorised as ‘at risk’ would have to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport regardless of their vaccination status. This test would be conducted in addition to India’s requirement of an RT-PCR test within 72 hours before travelling.

Apart from this, airports would also need to conduct random COVID-19 tests on 5 per cent of the travellers coming from countries that have not been classified as ‘at risk’. (UNI)

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