Ramping up anti-Covid measures amid a spurt in cases in several countries, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said passengers arriving in India from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand will have to mandatorily provide negative RT-PCR test reports from January 1.
The health minister said the passengers will have to upload the negative Covid reports from RT-PCR tests on the Air Suvidha portal prior to their departure. The tests have to be conducted within 72 hours of undertaking the journey to India.
He further said that this requirement is in addition to the random two per cent tests of all international passengers in all incoming international flights on their arrival in India irrespective of their port of departure.
Amid a spike in coronavirus cases in some countries, the government has sounded an alert, tightened Covid guidelines, and asked states and Union territories to prepare for any eventuality.
India recorded 268 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases increased to 3,552, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.11 per cent while the weekly positivity was pegged at 0.17 per cent, the ministry said.
On Wednesday, official sources cautioned that the next 40 days will be crucial as India may see a Covid surge in January. Even if there is a wave, deaths and hospitalisation will be very low, the health ninistry sources said.
“Previously, it has been noticed that a new wave of Covid-19 hits India around 30-35 days after it hits East Asia…. This has been a trend," an official said.
The situation in India where a large number of people have been exposed to the virus and also been vaccinated is quite different from that in China. The likelihood of a new big Covid-19 wave in India is very low, an expert said.
The sources said 39 international passengers were found positive for Covid-19 out of the 6,000 tested on arrival in the last two days.
The government has already sounded an alert and asked states and Union territories to prepare for any eventuality.
(with inputs from PTI)
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