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How COVID Variant Omicron Impact Travel & Hospitality Sector?


Since 2019 the highly contagious COVID-19 has been affecting the whole world. The virus, SARS-CoV-2, has been infecting people by causing them COVID-19 related breathing distress. The doctors and researchers have been fighting against the worst. The past year has been a gloomy time in world history. The symptom of this disease was strikingly varying from person to person. 

COVID-19: Its Effect and Symptoms

2020 has been very tough for everybody, we know. The death toll rose between the months of October and November. Recently the news headlines announced the discovery of a new mutant of the virus. This new variant of the virus has been named Omicron. The name has been given after the Greek letter “Ohm”. COVID-19 has affected people in different ways, generally causing cough, colds and aches. The effects of the COVID were a nearly pneumonic and severe malfunction of the breathing tract. The children and old adults, with lowered immunity, were the main population affected by the virus. Often leading to lower Oxygen saturation levels and fatal cardio-respiratory ailments.

The Government has mandated several new norms like wearing masks, using sanitisers and maintaining social distance. Despite the new norms human mistakes have given scope for the rate of infection rise. This rise in the number of infected mainly happened during the festival seasons. The more the people meet the virus spread through their mouth and nose while breathing, sneezing or coughing. Even touching any bare surface is risky without sanitizing that surface. Doctors mention that Omicron is infectious and can spread at a higher rate than the previous Novel variant of the COVID virus. 

Hospitality and travel services have been greatly affected by the virus. 

The travel services, like railways and airways, were restricted, being closed for many months during the first two waves of the COVID-19. Migrant workers left for their towns and villages. Students, staying in the hostels, were sent back home and so did most working professionals staying in Serviced Apartments left for their home town/cities as they work online. The educational institutes had to take recourse to the Online teaching method. Omicron has become the new unknown mutant of the two years old COVID-19 virus. The virus has evolved and adapted in a new form. Omicron was initially reported from the states of South Africa and Botswana. 

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Firstly, I would like to mention that this COVID variant is still yet to be studied elaborately. The research works based on WHO’s record have found this particular variant of the COVID virus to undergo several mutations. The transmissibility of this variant is being studied vigorously by researchers across the world. 

The severity of the omicron is still unknown in several cases. There are not enough studies or cases yet. Still, the government has become aware and careful about the further spreading of this new kind in every corner. New policies for travel agencies and facilities have been introduced to check on the socialization of the people between countries and states. The first declaration about the new variant was pointed out at the end of November month in the year 2021. 

The first omicron at Delhi happened to a thirty-seven-year-old man. The affected person has been observed to be improving in health. The doctors and researchers are being told to study the new variant of the virus and take elite care of an omicron patient. The treatment differs from person to person. The affected person is restricted from travelling and visiting other states. Initially, the variant was detected with normal tests of COVID-19 but the soon actual variant was detected. The man has travelled from overseas, hence, the overseas travel facilities have been restricted and stopped by the authority. 

Omicron and Measures Taken by the Government: Travel and Hospitality Policies for the International Passengers.

Based on the initial data the young students are being infected with the variant of the COVID virus. The variants of COVID-19 have been deadly. Likewise, omicron is a risky variant. It lasts for longer days than the other variants often leading to death. To keep the vulnerable people safe from the dangerous and unknown variant of the COVID-19 the government is setting rules for the hospitality services as well.

A new urge for vaccination has been called among various states of our country. The overpopulation has been a cause for the delays in the jabs. The severity of the case has led to the adoption of several central policies. The Government is looking for the recent thirty citizens who have returned to the country from Africa and other overseas places in the Visakhapatnam airport. They are supposed to be tested for COVID variants before struggling freely among the crowd. Those thirty are considered a threat for omicron across the state and the country. A high alert has been spread across the state with security and screening of the incoming passengers.

  • The COVID variant has become high for the population of our country hence; several safety measures have been taken. Overseas Passengers are kept in quarantine. COVID test is conducted before they are allowed to leave the quarantine centres. Due to recent cases of Omicron, the passengers coming from certain countries are kept in observation and quarantined before letting them mix with the crowd. These policies were adopted in the states like Maharashtra.
  • People coming from high-risk countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa must have double injections and quarantine is a must for them. But the domestic flyers are not required to do RT-PCR tests if they have taken both doses of vaccine. If they have had a single dose, then the RT-PCR test is required. 
  • People who are tested positive are immediately sent to the medical facilities. The hospitality services are kept ready for self-declarations and isolation services. The medical beds are kept for the incoming passengers. In the state of Karnataka, the passengers of the international flights are tested for the COVID. If the report turns out to be positive, then they are sent to hospitals and medical services.
  • The Kerala State Minister declared two RT-PCR tests for international travellers who are kept in quarantine for seven days. 

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The Omicron variant of the virus has adversely affected travel and hospitality services as they have been dealing with a sudden hike in the COVID cases since November. The COVID cases have risen and have become a threat to the help care services and health cares in Kerala and Delhi. These two states have faced a high international passenger influx from high-risk countries. along with other serviced apartments has had to adopt COVID appropriate sanitation measures to check the spread of Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.


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