Iran takes measures to block Omicron strain

November 27, 2021 - 17:35

TEHRAN – The Iranian Health Ministry has adopted new regulations to prevent the new variant of coronavirus, called B.1.1.529, or Omicron, from entering the country.

Omicron was designated as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday night due to its “concerning” mutations and because “preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant”.

First identified in South Africa on November 24, the mutant has also been found in Botswana, Belgium, and Hong Kong.

Omicron was designated as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. A number of countries around the world have now decided to ban or restrict travel to and from southern Africa.

Evidence shows that there should be more severe side effects, which is why we have taken special measures, Mohammad Mehdi Gooya, head of the diseases management center of the Ministry of Health, said, ISNA reported.

He further called on the people planning to travel to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Eswatini to delay their travel, adding that we provide all information at the airport and all land, air, and sea borders, meaning they will not leave the country without knowledge.

There are no direct flights from Iran to South Africa and travelers are not allowed to enter Iran, Gooya stated, noting, Iranians who want to travel must also be quarantined at the border to have two negative PCR tests.

A person may even stay in border quarantine for up to 14 days, he concluded.

In addition to a mandatory negative PCR test certificate, international travelers visiting Iran should buy coronavirus insurance, a tourism official announced on Thursday.

“Foreign tourists must buy coronavirus insurance from authorized companies when entering the country, and if they suffer from the pandemic in Iran, they will be provided with a place and treatment for 14 days,” Esmaeil Barat said, IRNA reported.

In addition to providing proof of vaccination or a negative PCR, inbound passengers must have coronavirus insurance, which differs from the routine insurance coverage purchased by all tourists before the coronavirus era, the official explained.

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