India: Air Suvidha, PCR test reports 72 hrs prior to departure likely to be mandatory for some travellers from next week


Filling Air Suvidha forms and carrying RT-PCR test reports done 72 hours before departure are likely to be made mandatory next week for international passengers from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore, said India’s Union Health Ministry sources on Wednesday.

According to sources in the health ministry, the next 40 days will be crucial as India may see a surge in Covid cases in mid-January. The sources further added that the assessment was made after analysing the previous trends of the Covid surge in the country.

Amid the explosion in Covid cases in some destinations, the operational readiness of healthcare facilities is under review in all states and Union Territories in anticipation of another wave. Hospitals across the country on Tuesday (December 27) conducted mock drills to assess their pandemic preparedness.

At least 39 international fliers tested positive for Covid between December 24 and 26. Taking due cognisance of the global surge in cases, including China, the government had directed random testing of international passengers.

Dubai passengers tests positive

“Two passengers, who arrived from Dubai, tested positive at the Chennai airport today. Both of hail from the Alangudi district of Tamil Nadu’s Pudukkottai. Their test samples have been sent to the State Public Health Laboratory,” read a statement issued by the Tamil Nadu Health department on Wednesday.

“Passengers of as many as 498 international flights were screened in the last three days (December 24, 25 and 26). A total of 1,780 swab samples were collected for Covid tests. The cumulative number of samples collected (from international fliers), so far, is 3,994. The cumulative number of samples testing positive for Covid is 39 and of samples sent for whole genome sequencing is 39,” a source told ANI on Tuesday.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya personally oversaw a mock dirll at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.

“To make sure that there is no Covid surge in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked us to be careful. The government is also making necessary preparations in anticipation of a rise in Covid infections. Today, mock drills are being conducted across Covid hospitals in the country to make sure people receive proper treatment in the eent of a rise in cases,” Mandaviya told reporters at Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday.


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