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South African returnee booked for violating home quarantine norms

Chandigarh : In the backdrop of grave concerns over COVID-19 new variant ‘Omicron’, a South African returnee has been booked for violating home quarantine norms in Chandigarh.

“South Africa is one among the high-risk country. We have registered an FIR against a woman who returned from South Africa on December 1, we conducted her RT-PCR test and the report was negative. Now as per the protocol, she was supposed to be in-home quarantine for seven days but on December 2, she broke the home quarantine protocol and checked into a hotel,” Yashpal Garg, secretary health and nodal officer, Chandigarh told media.

“The local administration has now been asked to direct all hotels to ask for the 15-day travel history of international travelers,” he added.

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.

The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in 23 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said.

India has also added several countries to the list from where travelers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.