Mandatory Covid tests for 2% travellers to India
The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Thursday said that at least two percent of the arriving passengers on international flights to the country will have to undergo random sampling as part of a precautionary measure for Covid-19.
The MoCA in an official statement said that the passengers are to be identified by the airline and will be allowed to leave the airport after sample collection. Those being tested positive for the infection will be isolated and their samples will be sent for genome sequencing. "This arrangement should come into practice with effect from 10:00 am on December 24," as per the statement from MoCA.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Lok Sabha on Thursday said that the government has started random RT-PCR sampling among the passengers arriving at International airports in the country amid the recent surge of Coronavirus infection in various countries including China, Japan, South Korea, France, and the United States.
Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also issued 'Guidelines for International Arrivals' in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and said that the guidelines will be reviewed and revised from time to time.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare statement, the present guidelines are being revised in view of the increasing trajectory of COVID-19 cases being noted in some countries across the world.
The ministry said that all travellers should preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their Country.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has however exempted Children (under 12 years of age) from post-arrival random testing.
"In-flight announcements about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic including precautionary measures to be followed (preferable use of masks and following physical distancing) shall be made in flights/travel and at all points of entry, Any passenger having symptoms of COVID-19 during travel shall be isolated as per standard protocol i.e. the said passenger should be wearing a mask, isolated and segregated from other passengers in flight/travel and shifted to an isolation facility subsequently for follow up treatment," read the statement from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
"However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during the period of self-monitoring period, they shall undergo testing and be treated as per laid down protocol," read the statement.
It stated that on the arrival of passengers' de-boarding should be done ensuring physical distancing, thermal screening should be done in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the point of entry and the passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated, taken to a designated medical facility as per health protocol (as above).