Amid the global surge in new COVID-19 infections, India made a negative RT-PCR report mandatory to fly in from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand on Thursday.
The tests must be conducted within 72 hours of undertaking the journey to India. Before departure, passengers must upload the negative Covid reports from RT-PCR tests on the Air Suvidha portal.
New rules effective from Jan 1
The new rules for foreign arrivals will come into effect from January 1.
“International passengers travelling from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand to India will be mandatorily required to undergo RT-PCR tests before their departure from these countries/destinations and upload the Covid negative RTPCR test report on the Air Suvidha portal from January 1, 2023,” the Union Health Ministry said.
RT-PCR on arrival to continue
Last week the Union Health Ministry made RT-PCR tests mandatory for passengers coming from these countries.
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In addition, 2 per cent of all international passengers are also randomly tested for COVID-19 on arrival, irrespective of the port of departure.
Passengers coming from abroad test positive
The new rules were announced amid an increase in foreign arrivals, including those coming from China, testing positive for COVID-19 in their tests at the airports.
On Tuesday, a woman and her six-year-old daughter, who returned from China via Colombo, tested positive for COVID-19 at the Madurai airport in Tamil Nadu.
They were subjected to an RT-PCR test at the airport when they landed on Tuesday and the results turned positive for COVID-19, following which their samples were sent to the state lab for whole genomic sequencing.
A day later, two more passengers, who returned from Dubai and Cambodia, tested positive for COVID-19 at the Chennai airport.
COVID-19 positive foreign tourist missing in Agra
On Thursday, a foreign tourist who had recently visited the Taj Mahal went missing after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The tourist from Argentina who visited the Taj Mahal on December 26 was tested for COVID-19 there and his sample turned out to be positive.
Dr Arun Srivastava, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Agra, said that they have not been able to find the tourist as his contact details are incorrect.
“A tourist visited the Taj Mahal on December 26 and his sample for the COVID-19 test was taken at the entrance gate of the monument. His report was found COVID-19 positive in RT PCR test. However, the contact number and other details mentioned by the tourist is incorrect and we have not been able to find him since then,” Srivastava told PTI.
He said that the health department is now looking for the tourist with the help of the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU), Hotels association, and other sources.
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