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Ban travellers from Omicron-detected countries

Staff Correspondent
29 Nov 2021 00:00:00 | Update: 29 Nov 2021 00:09:01
Ban travellers from Omicron-detected countries

The government should ban travellers from countries where a new variant of coronavirus ‘Omicron’ was detected.

The National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 on Sunday recommended the move in the wake of the new variant kept spreading around the world and many countries tried to seal themselves off by imposing travel restrictions.

The committee also advised the government to limit gatherings in political, social and religious programmes as a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of spreading the Omicron.

Other recommendations included a 14-day institutional quarantine of travellers who have recently visited Omicron detected countries to prevent the transmission of the new variant, and ensure screening tests at port areas.

During the regular bulletin on the Covid situation on Sunday, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Director Dr Nazmul Islam confirmed that they have already asked the relevant authorities at ports to screen travellers more strictly.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque, who left Dhaka for Geneva on Saturday to attend a World Health Organisations meeting, returned midway through the journey due to the importance of the Omicron situation.

In the past week the heavily mutated Covid variant has been identified, rapidly labelled a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization and named Omicron. It has been detected in countries including the UK, reports BBC.

Global news media reported that the Omicron variant had been identified in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Italy, and Australia. Several top American health experts said it would not be shocking if the virus had already arrived in the US.

It is a rapidly evolving situation. Omicron’s genetic profile has raised concerns, but there’s a shortage of real-world data that means nobody has the complete picture of what it can do.

Several countries around the world have now decided to ban or restrict travel to and from southern Africa.

Bangladesh registered three deaths and 205 new positive cases from Covid-19 in the 24 hours till 8am on Sunday.

The latest additions took the country’s death toll to 27,978, the total caseload to 1,575,748 and the total number of recoveries to 1,540,317.

The DGHS said that they are taking all possible preparations to prevent the spread of this variant.