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Amid Omicron threat, PM Modi says ‘monitor international arrivals, focus on at-risk countries’

PM Modi was briefed on the Covid situation, especially the Omicron variant that has been spreading in southern Africa. He asked for a review of plans to ease international travel.

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Saturday briefed about the new ‘Omicron’ variant of the coronavirus, and he asked officials to review the plans to ease international travel restrictions in light of the “emerging new evidence”.

At a meeting to review the Covid situation, Modi was briefed about the global trends on coronavirus cases and officials highlighted that countries across the world have experienced multiple COVID-19 surges since the onset of the pandemic, a Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement said.

During the meeting, the officials briefed the prime minister about the new variant of concern, Omicron’, along with its characteristics and the impact seen in various countries, the PMO said, adding that its implications for India were also discussed.

Modi spoke about the need to be proactive in light of the new variant.

He said that in view of the new threat, people need to be more cautious and take proper precautions like masking up and maintaining social distance, according to the PMO.

The prime minister highlighted the need for monitoring all international arrivals, their testing as per guidelines, with a specific focus on countries identified as ‘at risk’.

He also asked the officials to “review plans for easing of international travel restrictions in light of the emerging new evidence”, the statement said.

The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and NITI Aayog member (health) Dr V K Paul, among others.

Also read: Arvind Kejriwal urges PM Modi to ban flights from countries hit by Omicron Covid variant


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