Corona Virus Covid 19

Fully vaccinated travellers from 99 countries exempted from quarantine on arrival in India. Check full list
The decision has been made as a mark of reciprocation since these countries share mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates with India or allow quarantine-free entry to Indian nationals.

Travellers from the 99 nations must submit a self-declaration of their fully vaccinated status on Air Suvidha portal, and also produce a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours before. (HT PHOTO)


Travellers from the 99 nations must submit a self-declaration of their fully vaccinated status on Air Suvidha portal, and also produce a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours before. (HT PHOTO)
Published on Nov 15, 2021 06:38 PM IST

By
hindustantimes.com| Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Travellers from 99 countries, who are fully-vaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), have been exempted from mandatory quarantine on arrival in India, according to a recently updated notification by the Union government.

These countries, which include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Israel, among others, have been listed under ‘Category A’ in the government notification. Although travellers from these 99 nations have been exempted from mandatory quarantine, they will be required to follow certain norms that remain the same for all travellers.

Countries that feature in the ‘Category A’ list
As many as 99 nations are included in the ‘Category A’ list as mentioned in the notification by the central government. The United States, Great Britain, Israel, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium, Bangladesh, Finland, Croatia, Hungary, Russia, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey and Nepal are some of the countries that feature in the list.

Reason ‘Category A’ countries given Covid-19 relaxations
According to the Centre’s notification, India shares an agreement with some of the 99 nations on “mutual recognition of [Covid-19] vaccination certificates” of nationally recognised or the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised vaccines. On the other hand, some countries in the ‘Category A’ list though do not have a mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccine agreement with India, they permit quarantine-free entry in their land to fully vaccinated Indian nationals.
The decision to offer some relaxations to Covid-19 protocols for international travellers coming from the 99 countries have been made “on the basis of reciprocity”, the notification explained.

Covid-19 protocols that travellers from ‘Category A’ list need to follow
Travellers from the 99 nations must submit a self-declaration of their fully vaccinated status on Air Suvidha portal, and also produce a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours before. The passengers also need to submit a declaration related to the authenticity of the RT-PCR report and “will be liable to criminal prosecution, if found otherwise,” the notification stated.

Fully vaccinated travellers from ‘Category A’ countries are exempted from compulsory quarantine. However, they must self-monitor their health for the 14 days starting from the date of arrival in India. If they develop signs and symptoms of Covid-19 or test positive for the infection on re-testing, “they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/State Helpline Number,” the notification noted.
Travellers, who are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated against Covid-19, must submit their sample for testing on arrival in India. They also need to undergo home quarantine for seven days, take a Covid-19 test again on the eighth day, and if found negative, “further self-monitor” their health for the next seven days.

Countries categorised as ‘Countries at-risk’ by India
As many as 10 countries feature in this list, including the South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Zimbabwe, Singapore, New Zealand, Mauritius, Bangladesh and the UK.

Guidelines for travellers from nations ‘Considered at-risk’ but feature in ‘Category A’ list
Singapore, Zimbabwe and the UK are three nations that are considered at risk by India and yet feature in the ‘Category A’ list. However, travellers from these countries will still be exempted from mandatory quarantine, and will be permitted to leave the airport on arrival in India, with the requirement to self-monitor their health for the next 14 days.

Duration Covid-19 relaxations effective for the 99 countries
According to the government notification, the relaxations have been effective since November 12 and will remain in place till further orders. However, on the basis of “risk assessment” the guidelines will be reviewed from “time to time.”



Fully vaccinated travellers from 99 countries exempted from quarantine on arrival in India. Check full list
 
Covaxin safe, shows 77.8% efficacy against symptomatic Covid: Lancet
Source: PTI - Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: November 12, 2021 15:53 IST


Two doses of Covaxin, India's indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, offer 77.8 per cent protection against symptomatic disease and present no serious safety concerns, according to an interim analysis of its phase 3 trial published in The Lancet on Friday.



Photograph: Prabhat Mehrotra/ANI Photo

Covaxin, an inactivated whole virus vaccine developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, recently received emergency use approval from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for people aged 18 and above.
The phase 3 trial findings indicate that Covaxin induces a robust antibody response with no severe vaccine-related adverse events or deaths reported among the trial participants, the authors of the study said.

The majority of the adverse events, including headache, fatigue, fever, and pain at the injection site, were mild and occurred within seven days of vaccination, they explained.
The vaccine is administered in a two-dose regimen, 28 days apart, and can be stored and transported between 2-8 degrees Celsius.
The trial took place from November 16 to May 17 this year, with participants aged 18 and older randomly assigned to receive two doses of the vaccine or a placebo.
The researchers 'recorded 24 positive cases among 8,471 people in the vaccine group and 106 positive cases among 8,502 people in the placebo group, suggesting an overall vaccine efficacy of 77.8 per cent', the authors said.

They also noted that the data is preliminary and more research with larger sample size is needed to determine efficacy against severe disease and hospitalisation.
Participants considered to be at risk of acquiring COVID-19 were prioritised with 2,750 participants above 60 years of age and 5,724 participants who reported at least one pre-existing medical condition, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or obesity, across ages.
This study was conducted with participants from diverse geographic locations across 25 hospitals in India.
The researchers conducted an efficacy analysis based on 130 laboratory-confirmed RT-PCR positive symptomatic COVID-19 among 16,973 initially seronegative participants.
These cases were recorded at least two weeks after participants had received a second dose.
The trial also found that Covaxin was well-tolerated among all trial participants, with 12 per cent of vaccine and placebo groups reporting an adverse event.
'The peer-review of Covaxin phase III clinical trial data in The Lancet, an authoritative voice in global medicine validates our commitment to data transparency and meeting the stringent peer-review standards of world-leading medical journals,' said Bharat Biotech Chairman Krishna Ella.
'The data from our product development and clinical trials have been published in 10 peer-reviewed journals, making Covaxin one of the most highly published COVID-19 vaccines in the world,' Ella said in a statement.
The study authors from Bharat Biotech and National Institute of Virology, Indian Council of Medical Research (NIV-ICMR), Pune, noted that there was no clinically or statistically significant difference in serious adverse events between groups, and no cases of vaccine-related deaths.
'I am delighted to see that the phase III efficacy data has also been published in The Lancet, one of the most reputed journals worldwide. This itself speaks high about the strong position of Covaxin amongst other global front-runners COVID-19 vaccines,' said Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava.
Analysis of immune responses induced by the vaccine showed that Covaxin produced a strong neutralising antibody response measured by the concentration of these antibodies at day 56 or one month after receiving the second dose.
A neutralising antibody defends a cell from an infectious particle by preventing any effect it has biologically.
Similar to the phase 1/2 studies, Covaxin-induced antibodies showed no significant decrease in neutralisation activity against the Alpha variant but demonstrated marginal reductions against other variants of concern, including Delta and Gamma.
Researchers conducted a preliminary analysis of efficacy against the Delta variant and found Covaxin to be 65 per cent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 infection from the variant.
They, however, cautioned that this data is preliminary and further observations are necessary to confirm clinical efficacy against Delta and other variants.
The study found no significant differences in immune responses across the broad age groups of under- and over-60-year-olds.
The oldest trial participant was 97 years old.
The authors of the study also noted several limitations of the analysis.
Due to the low number of cases reported between the first and second vaccine doses, the researchers could not calculate vaccine efficacy after a single dose.
They said the analysis included safety follow-up of an average 146 days from the first dose for all participants, adding that long-term safety follow-up of Covaxin is required and is currently underway.
The study population was limited to India and therefore lacked ethnic and racial diversity, underscoring the importance of evaluating the efficacy of Covaxin in other populations.
'The roll-out of Covaxin might ease the ultra-cold chain requirements of other SARS-CoV-2 vaccine platforms, increase the finite global manufacturing capacity, and improve insufficient supply of vaccines which disproportionately affects low-income and middle-income countries,' said Jing-Xin Li and Feng-Cai Zhu of the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China, who were not involved in the study.

'The next step for studies of Covaxin should be a focus on monitoring for epidemiological variations in SARS-CoV-2 and the long-term vaccine efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 and asymptomatic infection to identify whether the vaccine provides ongoing protection when any variant of concern has occurred,' Zhu said in a statement.


Covaxin safe, shows 77.8% efficacy against symptomatic Covid: Lancet
 

Big Daddy

Super User
So the scam continues. Now drug makers want governments to spend more money for a new vaccination for the new variant. The future generations will be loaded with taxes and diminished economic opportunities because government stacked up on debt akin to loading today's expenses on credit cards.

 
Update on Omicron
28 November 2021
Statement

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On 26 November 2021, WHO designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, named Omicron, on the advice of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE). This decision was based on the evidence presented to the TAG-VE that Omicron has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves, for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes. Here is a summary of what is currently known.

Current knowledge about Omicron

Researchers in South Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron and will continue to share the findings of these studies as they become available.
Transmissibility: It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta. The number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa affected by this variant, but epidemiologic studies are underway to understand if it is because of Omicron or other factors.
Severity of disease: It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta. Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron. There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants. Initial reported infections were among university students—younger individuals who tend to have more mild disease—but understanding the level of severity of the Omicron variant will take days to several weeks. All variants of COVID-19, including the Delta variant that is dominant worldwide, can cause severe disease or death, in particular for the most vulnerable people, and thus prevention is always key.

Effectiveness of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection
Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron (ie, people who have previously had COVID-19 could become reinfected more easily with Omicron), as compared to other variants of concern, but information is limited. More information on this will become available in the coming days and weeks.
Effectiveness of vaccines: WHO is working with technical partners to understand the potential impact of this variant on our existing countermeasures, including vaccines. Vaccines remain critical to reducing severe disease and death, including against the dominant circulating variant, Delta. Current vaccines remain effective against severe disease and death.
Effectiveness of current tests: The widely used PCR tests continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants as well. Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including rapid antigen detection tests.
Effectiveness of current treatments: Corticosteroids and IL6 Receptor Blockers will still be effective for managing patients with severe COVID-19. Other treatments will be assessed to see if they are still as effective given the changes to parts of the virus in the Omicron variant.

Studies underway
At the present time, WHO is coordinating with a large number of researchers around the world to better understand Omicron. Studies currently underway or underway shortly include assessments of transmissibility, severity of infection (including symptoms), performance of vaccines and diagnostic tests, and effectiveness of treatments.
WHO encourages countries to contribute the collection and sharing of hospitalized patient data through the WHO COVID-19 Clinical Data Platform to rapidly describe clinical characteristics and patient outcomes.
More information will emerge in the coming days and weeks. WHO’s TAG-VE will continue to monitor and evaluate the data as it becomes available and assess how mutations in Omicron alter the behaviour of the virus.

Recommended actions for countries
As Omicron has been designated a Variant of Concern, there are several actions WHO recommends countries to undertake, including enhancing surveillance and sequencing of cases; sharing genome sequences on publicly available databases, such as GISAID; reporting initial cases or clusters to WHO; performing field investigations and laboratory assessments to better understand if Omicron has different transmission or disease characteristics, or impacts effectiveness of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics or public health and social measures. More detail in the announcement from 26 November.
Countries should continue to implement the effective public health measures to reduce COVID-19 circulation overall, using a risk analysis and science-based approach. They should increase some public health and medical capacities to manage an increase in cases. WHO is providing countries with support and guidance for both readiness and response.
In addition, it is vitally important that inequities in access to COVID-19 vaccines are urgently addressed to ensure that vulnerable groups everywhere, including health workers and older persons, receive their first and second doses, alongside equitable access to treatment and diagnostics.

Recommended actions for people
The most effective steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus is to keep a physical distance of at least 1 metre from others; wear a well-fitting mask; open windows to improve ventilation; avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces; keep hands clean; cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue; and get vaccinated when it’s their turn.
WHO will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available, including following meetings of the TAG-VE. In addition, information will be available on WHO’s digital and social media platforms.


Reference material:

 
COVID-19 Omicron: Delhi Airport Has Arrangements for Up to 1,500 International Passengers

Delhi airport. Image used for representation. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Delhi airport. Image used for representation. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

The Delhi international airport has made arrangements to accommodate at the airport up to 1,500 international passengers at a time, including those coming from 'at risk' countries.
  • PTI
  • LAST UPDATED:NOVEMBER 30, 2021, 21:58 IST
The Delhi international airport has made arrangements to accommodate at the airport up to 1,500 international passengers at a time, including those coming from 'at-risk' countries, till results of their RT-PCR tests taken after arrival are declared, according to officials. Each passenger who will undergo the RT-PCR test will be charged around Rs 1,700. The amount includes charges for the RT-PCR test, and food and water during their stay at the airport till the test results come, the airport officials said on Tuesday.
International airports across the country have made preparations to implement the stricter COVID-19 guidelines, to be effective from midnight, for international passengers amid rising concerns of infections caused by the new COVID-19 variant Omicron. Under the guidelines, all passengers coming from 'at-risk' countries have to compulsorily undergo RT-PCR tests and five per cent of passengers arriving from other countries would also have to take the test on a random basis. The passengers will have to wait for the results before leaving the airport or taking a connecting flight.

The officials said that arrangements have been made at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the national capital to implement the new guidelines and ensure necessary social distancing among passengers. The airport can accommodate 1,400-1,500 passengers at a time, including those coming from 'at-risk' countries, inside the airport. The passengers will have to spend at least six hours at the premises, including waiting for the RT-PCR test results, they added.
Currently, at the IGIA, the country's largest airport operated by the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), international operations are from Terminal 3 (T3). According to the officials, the testing facility at the airport can take 400-500 samples in one hour and one test result is expected in four hours or more time.


The immigration process will be done for the passengers only after their test results come. If required, the facilities for the passengers can be scaled up, the officials said. On average, over 10 international flights land at the Delhi airport daily, they added.

A spokesperson for the Bengaluru international airport said, "we are working with all the airlines and other stakeholders to implement the new procedures and minimise inconvenience to passengers". An Airports Authority of India (AAI) spokesperson said all AAI airports that have international operations are "fully prepared" to implement the guidelines issued by the Union government in coordination with state authorities.
The spokesperson also said that the top management of the AAI is also monitoring the situation. State-owned AAI is involved in the operations of 34 international airports, including customs airports.
There were no immediate comments from Mumbai airport on the preparations to implement the new guidelines. While India has not reported Omicron cases so far, the Union government has advised states and Union Territories to ramp up testing for early identification of any cases, undertake effective surveillance of international passengers and strictly monitor hotspots.
As per updated list on November 26, the countries designated as 'at-risk' include European countries, the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Israel and Hong Kong. On Monday, a GMR spokesperson said all necessary arrangements will be ready on time keeping in mind the fresh guidelines and passenger convenience.

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"We have made similar arrangements earlier as well during previous waves of the pandemic. We will ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocol during the stay of passengers inside the terminal," the spokesperson had said. GMR is the majority stakeholder in DIAL and GHIAL, the operators of Delhi and Hyderabad airports, respectively.
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COVID-19 Omicron: Delhi Airport Has Arrangements for Up to 1,500 International Passengers
 
Maharashtra state guidelines for air travel. Domestic air travelers from other states to any airport in Maharashtra - a negative RT PCR test report is compulsory.

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