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No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A)
Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs

North Block, New Delhi-110001
Dated 30th November, 2021

ORDER

Whereas, an Order of even number dated 28th September, 2021, was issued to ensure compliance to the containment measures for COVID-19, as conveyed vide Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) DO No. Z.28015/85/2021-DM Cell dated 21st September, 2021, which was further extended for a period upto 30.11.2021 vide Order of even number dated 28.10.2021;

And whereas, considering the emergence of highly mutant COVID-19 variant B.1.1529 cases in few countries of Africa, MoHFW vide DO No. 25/S(HFW)/CVariant/2021dated 25th November, 2021, has issued an advisory to all States and Union Territories (UTs), for rigorous screening and testing of all international arrivals, as per their guidelines issued from time to time. Further the contacts of these international travelers must also be closely tracked and tested as per MoHFW guidelines and the samples of travelers turning positive are sent to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) promptly, as per the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Guidance Document. State Surveillance Officers must also establish a close coordination with their designated/ tagged IGSLs for expediting results of genomic analysis, and the States/UTs should immediately undertake necessary public health measures, in case presence of Variants of Concern/Variants of interest (VOCs/Vols) is reported by the INSACOG network;

Whereas, in exercise of the powers conferred under section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has directed the undersigned to issue an Order, for containment of COVID-19 in the country;

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(1) of the DM Act, the undersigned, hereby directs that the Order of the Ministry of Home Affairs of even number, dated 28th September, 2021, to ensure compliance with the Prompt & Effective Containment Measures for COVID-19, as conveyed vide Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) DO No. Z.28015/85/2021-DM Cell, dated 21st September, 2021, will remain in force upto the 31st December, 2021. Further it is directed to ensure strict compliance to the aforesaid MoHFW advisory (Annexure-I) dated 25th November, 2021.

Union Home Secretary
and, Chairperson, National Executive Committee (NEC)

To:

1. The Secretaries of Ministries/ Departments of Government of India

The Chief Secretaries/Administrators of States/Union Territories (As per list attached)

Copy to:

i. All Members of the National Executive Committee

ii. Member Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority

Annexure-I

Government of India
Department of Health and Family
Welfare Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

D.O. No.26/S(HFW)/CVariant/2021
25th November 2021

Dear Collegue

This is regarding the Variants of Concern Variants of Interest (VoCsNols) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Whole Genome Sequencing activity being coordinated in the country through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which is the Nodal Agency for INSACOG. The aim of this activity is tracking and monitoring emergence and transmission of COVID-19 VoCsNols in the country.

2. In this regard, various letters issued by this Ministry dated 12th 2021, 3rd. Nov. 2021, 26th Oct. 2021, 20th Oct. 2021, and 27th August 2021 may please be referred to. All these letters reiterated the criticality of scrupulous implementation and rigorous monitoring of the three-pronged surveillance strategy of screening and testing international travellers & their contacts, routine sentinel surveillance and surge surveillance, and timely sending of RT-PCR positive samples to designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs).

3. It has now been reported by NCDC that multiple cases of a COVID-19 variant B.1.1529 have been reported in Botswana (3 cases), South Africa (6 cases) and Honk Kong (1 case). This variant is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations, and thus, has serious public health implications for the country, in view of recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel.

4. It is therefore imperative that ALL international travellers travelling from and transiting through these countries, (they are part of the “at risk” Country Category of international travellers coming to India) and also including all other `at risk’ countries indicated in the revised Guidelines for International Arrivals issued by this Ministry dated 11.11.2021, are subjected to rigorous screening and testing, as per MoHFW Guidelines. The contacts of these international travellers must also be closely tracked and tested as per MoHFW guidelines.

5. You are also requested to ensure that samples of travellers turning positive are sent to the designated IGSLs promptly as per the INSACOG Guidance Document issued by this Ministry available at https://www.mohfw.gov. in/pdf/INSACOGGuidanceDocumentdated1 5J uly2021 pdf State Surveillance Officers must also establish close coordination with their designated/tagged IGSLs for expediting results of genomic analysis, so that necessary public health measures may be undertaken by the States/UTs in case presence of VOCsNols is reported by the INSACOG network.

6. It is critical for the States/UTs to adhere to the overarching Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate’ principle to ensure stringent implementation of containment measures as per MoHFW guidelines, and to prevent the spread of VoC/Vols and formation of clusters of cases.

Warm Regards

Yours Sincerely

(Rajesh Bhushan)

Additional Chief Secretary /Principal Secretary /Secretary (Health) All States/UTs

Copy for information to: Director NCDC

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