Omicron: Bangladesh removed from India’s list of countries ‘at-risk


The Indian High Commission has informed, says Foreign Minister Momen

India has removed Bangladesh from its list of “at-risk” countries, which was issued as an early attempt to halt the transmission of the new coronavirus variant Omicron, first identified in South Africa.

The move by New Delhi came following requests by Dhaka, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told the media on Tuesday.

“Due to request, India High Commission has informed that Bangladesh has been removed from the Red List of India,” reads a message from the minister sent to reporters.

On Monday, India stepped up tests for passengers from several countries amid global concerns over Omicron.

The other countries flagged as “at-risk” are the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel, and the entirety of Europe.
As per the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry, passengers travelling from or transiting through the listed countries would have to undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival in India and would be required to wait for the results before leaving the airport or taking a connecting flight.
Travellers who test positive will be taken to a medical facility for isolation, where they need to stay till they test negative if they are infected by the Omicron variant. If they are infected by any other variants, their release will be at the discretion of a doctor based on conditions.

People who test negative after coming from the listed countries, will need to be in home quarantine and take another test on the eighth day. If they are positive, they will need to report to the Covid-19 helpline, the guidelines said.

These travellers will also have to declare their travel history for the preceding 14 days.
The Indian government took the decision following the report of a man, who returned from South Africa to India’s Maharashtra, testing positive for coronavirus on Sunday.

However, the authorities have yet to confirm whether the patient was carrying the Omicron variant.

Omicron is potentially more contagious than previous variants, although experts do not know yet if it will cause more or less severe Covid-19 compared to other strains.

Dubbed as a variant of concern, the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) was first reported to WHO from South Africa on November 24. According to WHO, the first confirmed infection from the variant was from a specimen collected on November 9.
South African scientists said it has 32 mutations in the spike protein, about double the number associated with the Delta variant.

With the Omicron variant of the coronavirus popping up in at least nine countries across the world till Sunday, the health authorities in Bangladesh issued a set of directives to prevent the variant from coming into the country.

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