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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Forms with RT-PCR, vaccination details could be made mandatory for air travellers from countries seeing Covid surge

Random sample testing for coronavirus will be conducted at airports for passengers arriving from China and other countries

PTI New Delhi Published 22.12.22, 03:32 PM
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The Union health ministry is examining the reintroduction of mandatory 'air suvidha' forms with details of RT-PCR test conducted 72 hours prior to travel or complete vaccination proof for passengers coming from China and other countries reporting high number of Covid cases.

A decision on this will be taken after monitoring the situation for a few weeks.

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The move comes following a meeting chaired by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday to review the Covid situation in the country, in view of a sudden spurt in cases in China and some other countries.

Random sample testing for coronavirus will be conducted at airports for passengers arriving from China and other countries because of the recent surge in cases in some parts of the world, official sources had said on Wednesday.

"The health ministry is examining reintroduction of mandatory 'air suvidha' forms for international arrivals with details of RT-PCR test conducted 72 hours prior to travel or complete vaccination proof for passengers coming from China and other countries reporting high number of Covid cases," an official source told PTI.

The source said that "a decision in this regard will only be taken after monitoring the Covid situation in the country for a few weeks and if warranted, as a matter of abundant precaution in view of increasing trajectory of cases globally".

In the Wednesday meeting, experts and senior officials had stressed on the need for continued surveillance even though they highlighted there was no overall increase in the Covid cases as of now.

"Covid is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be alert and strengthen surveillance. We are prepared to manage any situation," Mandaviya had said.

The surveillance system for whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network should be strengthened, he had said.

States and union territories have been requested to send samples of all Covid positive cases to INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) on a daily basis for sequencing and track new variants, if any. Besides, implementation of thermal screening is also being explored.

India has been witnessing a steady decline in cases with the average daily cases falling to 158 in the week ending December 19, the minister had been briefed in a presentation.

However, a consistent rise in global daily average cases has been reported for the last six weeks, with 5.9 lakh daily average cases reported in the week ending December 19, he had been informed.

India logged 185 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases declined to 3,402, according to health ministry data updated on Thursday.

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