2% Of International Flyers To Undergo Random Post-Arrival Covid Testing At Airports: Govt


New Delhi: In view of the increasing risk of coronavirus infection in the country, the Aviation Ministry issued new guidelines on Thursday. Issuing an order, the Civil Aviation Ministry said that out of the total passengers in the flight, 2 percent of the passengers should be tested for Covid. It has been said in the order that passengers should be screened on arrival, reported news agency ANI.

The order further said that such passengers to be screened should be identified by the airline. Only after taking samples of these passengers, it should be ensured that they leave the airport. It has also been said in the instructions that the results coming positive in the test should be sent for genome sequencing.

Menwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting with top government officials on Thursday to review the coronavirus situation and urged people to wear masks in crowded places and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. PM Modi also asked states to increase Covid testing and focus on genome sequencing of all positive cases.

“Covid-19 not over yet. Need for strengthened surveillance with focus on genome sequencing and increased testing. Strengthen ongoing surveillance measures at international airports,” PM Narendra Modi told officials at the review meeting.

PM Modi also said eligible persons should be encouraged to take ‘precaution’ or booster dose, especially those vulnerable and elderly groups. He also called for regular monitoring of availability and prices of essential medicines.

With Christmas and New Year festivities around the corner, state governments have been asked to step up efforts to curb any possible Covid spread as India brought back random testing at airports for international passengers.

India has started two per cent random sampling of international travellers coming to the country and may consider making it mandatory for all if necessary, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told Parliament on Thursday.

The move came amid growing concerns over the spread of Covid in China following the recent easing of strict lockdown measures. Hospitals and medical facilities in China have been overwhelmed with patients.

India has been witnessing a steady decline in cases, with average daily infections falling to 158 in the week ending December 19. On Thursday, India recorded 185 fresh Covid cases and one death. The number of active cases came down to 3,402.


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