The Karnataka government has requested the Centre to levy a travel ban on passengers coming from South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana amid of the detection of the new variant of coronavirus named ‘Omicron’, said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday.
“A new strain of the COVID-19 has appeared abroad, which is mainly seen in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana. European nations have imposed restrictions and the WHO has also raised an alarm against this new variant by calling it a matter of concern,” Bommai told reporters here.
“We have also requested the Union government to ban travellers from the three countries (South Africa, Hongkong and Botswana),” he added.
Since there were no details available about the impact of the new variant, Bommai noted that he has learnt that it is a super spreader and hence, India is on the high alert.
“India is on the alert. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had convened a meeting and given a slew of directions. Keeping that in mind, we too had convened a meeting on Saturday in the state. So far we have not come across the new strain in the state,” the Chief Minister said.
Bommai said he has ordered restrictions at the airport for people coming from countries, which are in contact with people from nations where the new Omicron variant has been detected.
“The travellers will be let go only if they test negative for the COVID-19 or else they will be sent to the containment zone. Earlier, there was a system that the travellers were allowed to go after collecting samples and then they were quarantined after testing positive,” Bommai said.