Among them, only four were from “high risk” countries while the rest were from “non-risk” countries.

Tamil Nadu on Saturday asked the center to issue another set of guidelines on testing international passengers arriving in the state after a person from a ‘non-risk country’ tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19 recently, becoming the first such case to be reported. about in the state.

Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Dr TS Selvavinayagam, in his letter to the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Rajesh Bhushan, has requested that international passengers arriving in Tamil Nadu undergo mandatory post-arrival testing for Covid-19 against the current practice of testing passengers arriving from other countries Only “at risk”.

According to him, 28 passengers, who arrived from various overseas destinations as of Friday in Tamil Nadu, were detected with low genes for Omicron, which indicates infection with the Omicron variant of coronavirus. Among them, only four were from “high risk” countries while the rest were from “non-risk” countries.

Selvavinayagam noted that according to the current guidelines issued by the Centre, only 11 countries along with European countries including the UK have been declared as ‘high risk’ and the additional monitoring protocol for passengers from these countries has been adhered to, but no protocol has been followed. Additional monitoring of passengers arriving from “non-risk countries”.

“All international passengers arriving in Tamil Nadu must undergo a mandatory post-arrival test for Covid-19 virus. If found positive, it will be dealt with according to the current protocol. In his message, which was carried by the media on Saturday, he said they should be allowed to leave the airport to do Transit only if they turn out to be negative.

“Only 2% of passengers from non-risk countries are randomly tested with RT-PCR and allowed to leave even before results are announced, thus increasing the chances of missing passengers from non-risk countries with an Omicron variant and leading to rapid transmission in the society “.

Selvavinayagam said passengers who tested ‘negative’ should be advised to undergo a seven-day home quarantine, and again they should retest on the eighth day of their arrival in Tamil Nadu. If a positive (Covid-19) is found, it will be treated according to the current protocol. If they turn out to be negative, he said, they may be advised to monitor their health themselves for another seven days.

Selvavinayagam said that additional monitoring of international travelers has been followed in Tamil Nadu from December 1 at all four international airports in the state – Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli and Chennai.

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