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MHA extends COVID-19 guidelines under DM Act till Dec. 31

States asked to go for ‘rigorous screening and testing of all international arrivals’

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the COVID-19 guidelines issued under the Disaster Management (DM) Act, till December 31.

It asked the States to go for “rigorous screening and testing of all international arrivals” considering the emergence of highly mutant COVID-19 variant B.1.1529 cases in few African countries.

“Further the contacts of these international travelers must also be closely tracked and tested as per MoHFW (health ministry) guidelines and the samples of travelers turning positive are sent to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) promptly, as per the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Guidance Document,” the Ministry said in its order.

It stated that the State Surveillance Officers must establish a close coordination with the designated genome sequencing laboratories for expediting the results of genomic analysis and the States should immediately undertake necessary public health measures in case presence of variants of concern or variants of interest.

The previous order of September 28 to ensure compliance with the “prompt and effective containment measures for COVID-19” would remain in force upto December 31.

The MHA asked the States to take relevant action under various provisions of the DM Act for strict implementation of the containment measures.

The earlier guidelines were applicable till November 30.

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