New Delhi: Saying that Omicron is present in India because two cases have been detected is wrong, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday, adding that India so far has not imposed any travel bans from any specific countries.
Asked about the concerns around the Omicron variant, and whether India plans to put in place any aviation curb, Bagchi said, “Omicron is an evolving situation… two cases have been confirmed in Karnataka”.
Referring to putting 11 countries, including all European countries and UK, in the “at risk” category, the Spokesperson said, “this is a technical decision, I would say, based on facts and evidence by our health regulatory authorities. This list existed prior to Omicron.”
“This is based on the incidence profile of Covid 19 in those countries and it changes based on what happens on the ground,” he said.
“I am not aware of any particular country having raised the fact is they are on list or not… We don’t have travel curbs as such, some countries have stopped flights from that region, we haven’t done that. We have instead intensified surveillance mechanism and protocol for those who happen to come from at risk countries, who have to undertake on arrival RTPCR test etc, and undergo home quarantine. I would refer to health ministry guidelines… This is not flight curbs,” Bagchi said.
Commenting on the two cases detected in India, the Spokesperson said, “I don’t think the presence of two cases, who have already been quarantined, who are being specially monitored, the impression that Omicron is present in India is wrong. They are two people, they have been isolated”.
I won’t like to speculate how the world looks at it, I certainly think there are many countries where similar cases have been found, we have not imposed any travel restriction,” said Bagchi.
Two cases of Omicron have been reported in Karnataka, both patients are male, of the age 66 and 46 years, government has said.