Coronavirus Guidelines India COVID-19 RT-PCR Test Mandatory For Flyers These Countries Starting Today

Coronavirus Guidelines India COVID-19 RT-PCR Test Mandatory For Flyers These Countries Starting Today

Travellers arriving in India from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand will no longer be required to furnish a pre-departure Covid test report and upload a self-health declaration on the ‘Air Suvidha portal from Monday onwards.

The Centre has done away with the mandate to upload the ‘Air Suvidha’ form for such travellers.

Here’s what travellers should know

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan informed his counterpart Ministry of Civil Aviation Rajiv Bansal through a letter saying the ministry was updating its ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’ in view of a decline in Covid cases.

“In view of the above, this ministry is updating its ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’, and dropping the existing requirements of pre-departure Covid-19 testing and uploading of the Self-Health Declaration on the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s ‘Air Suvidha’ portal applicable for international travellers coming from/via China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan,” the letter said.

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However, the random Covid-19 testing of 2 per cent of all travellers landing in India will continue, the health ministry has said. “In order to monitor infections due to mutated variants of SARS-CoV-2 among international travellers to India, the present exercise of random testing of two per cent travellers irrespective of their country of origin upon arrival in India shall continue,” it added.

The measure has been implemented on the back of a significant decline in coronavirus cases in these countries, over the past few weeks. In its latest situational update on coronavirus, the World Health Organization’s noted a decline of 89 per cent in the number of newly confirmed cases in the past 28 days globally as compared to 28 days prior to that, the Union Health Secretary noted.

Also, Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recently said the possibility of a large new wave of Covid-19 is relatively low in the coming months in China.

Another leading Chinese scientist George Gao said the world should “calm down” about the possibility of new Covid-19 variants circulating in China.  In a paper published in the Lancet medical journal last week, Gao and colleagues said no new variants had emerged in the initial weeks of China’s recent outbreak, after the end of its zero-Covid policy saw a huge wave of cases.

“The world should completely calm down from the fear that there are new variants or special variants circulating (in China),” Gao, professor at the Institute of Microbiology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and former head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Reuters.

India logged in 124 new Covid-19 cases, while the active infection numbers have increased to 1,843, as per the Union Health Ministry data update on Sunday. The death toll now stands at 5,30,750, according to the data.

Around 220.62 crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in India till now under the nationwide vaccination campaign, the health ministry’s website noted.

(With inputs from PTI)


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