Health officials here have started screening visitors at the Taj Mahal and other monuments following the new Covid scare, focusing primarily on foreign tourists.

The Uttar Pradesh Department of Health’s efforts are part of efforts to contain the new BF.7 variant of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus, officials said.

Mainly tourists from the United States, China, Japan, Brazil, and European countries were screened and samples were collected at tourist sites such as the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Akbar’s Tomb.

prime minister Narendra Modi On Thursday, he instructed authorities to step up ongoing surveillance measures, especially at international airports, and warned not to settle for the status quo amid a spike in Covid cases in several parts of the world.

Agra’s chief medical officer, Dr. Arun Srivastava, emphasized a “track, test, treat” policy for tackling new variants. He also called on residents to wear masks and follow physical distancing standards.

“Agra is a tourist city and Covid tests are being conducted to tackle new virus subspecies. ,” Srivastava told PTI.

Passengers arriving at city airports, train stations and interstate bus terminals are also being screened.

The health department also set up sample collection points at Sarojini Naidu Medical College and District Hospitals, Primary Health Centers in the city and Community Health Centers in rural Agra. People with cold, cough and fever symptoms can visit health centers to be sampled, he added Srivastava.

“Residents are asked to wear masks and maintain physical distancing in public places. They are advised to use hand sanitizer and follow Covid guidelines to avoid infection. They can also be vaccinated, including booster doses.” No positive cases have been recorded in Agra since 25 November, according to health department data.

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