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  India   All India  24 Dec 2022  RT-PCR test mandatory for passengers from China, 4 other countries

RT-PCR test mandatory for passengers from China, 4 other countries

THE ASIAN AGE. | BHASKAR HARI SHARMA
Published : Dec 24, 2022, 1:07 pm IST
Updated : Dec 25, 2022, 7:05 am IST

RT-PCR test would be made mandatory for international passengers arriving from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand

A medic takes swab sample from a passenger for COVID-19 test at the Chennai International Airport, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (PTI Photo/R Senthilkumar)
 A medic takes swab sample from a passenger for COVID-19 test at the Chennai International Airport, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (PTI Photo/R Senthilkumar)

New Delhi: Amid rising Covid cases in many countries, the Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced on Saturday that the RT-PCR test for the detection of Covid-19 will be made mandatory for international passengers arriving from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand. Though India reported 201 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, the Centre, as a pre-emptive measure, urged the states and UTs to ensure the availability of Covid treatment essentials at hospitals.

The Union health minister said that filling up the "Air Suvidha" form to declare the health status will be made mandatory for passengers coming from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Reintroducing more precautionary measures, Mr Mandaviya said that any passenger from the aforementioned countries found symptomatic or testing positive for coronavirus will be quarantined.

"In view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation, passengers from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Bangkok (Thailand) are required to upload their RT-PCR reports in advance (for travel to India).

"After landing in India, they will undergo thermal screening and we have issued an order for them to be quarantined if found positive or with fever on their arrival in the country," Mr Mandaviya told reporters in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

To minimise the risk of ingress of any new variant of the coronavirus in the country, the Union health ministry has already asked the civil aviation ministry to ensure random post-arrival Covid testing of 2 per cent of the international passengers arriving in India at airports from Saturday.

Meanwhile, with the addition of 201 new coronavirus infections, India’s total tally rose to 4.46 crores, while the active cases increased to 3,397. The death toll stands at 5,30,009, with one fatality reconciled by Kerala. The daily positivity was recorded at 0.15 per cent and the weekly positivity at 0.14 per cent.

Taking cognisance of the current global Covid-19 scare emanating from a surge in cases in countries like China, the Centre urged states and UTs to ensure the availability of liquid medical oxygen (LMO), adequate inventory of cylinders and functional life support equipment such as ventilators at hospitals to face any challenge.

The Union health ministry has asked states and Union territories to ensure Pressure Swing Adsorption oxygen-generating plants are kept fully functional and regular mock drills are conducted to check them.

In a letter to all states and UTs, health ministry additional secretary Manohar Agnani said the operationalisation and maintenance of medical infrastructures are of utmost importance to meet any eventuality, even though the number of cases in the country is low now.

"The availability of LMO in the health facilities and an uninterrupted supply chain for their refilling should be ensured. Adequate inventory of oxygen cylinders along with backup stocks and robust refilling system should be maintained," the letter said.

States have also been urged to ensure the availability of functional life support equipment such as ventilators, BiPAP and SpO2 systems along with their consumables.

Tags: spike in covid cases, union health minister mansukh mandaviya, mandatory covid test, rtpcr test, passengers from china
Location: India, Delhi