Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], December 3 (ANI): Staff at airports in Chennai, Madurai, and Coimbatore have started compulsory testing of passengers arriving from 11 'at risk' countries in view of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.
Speaking to ANI on Thursday, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said, "The airports in Chennai, Madurai, and Coimbatore have started compulsory testing of passengers arriving from 11 'at risk' countries where Omicron variant of coronavirus is spreading rapidly."Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia informed Parliament on Thursday that 11 countries - the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Israel - have been placed in the 'at-risk' category amid the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Two cases of the new Omicron variant of Coronavirus have been detected in Karnataka, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.
A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.
On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.
Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered. (ANI)