India mandates negative RT-PCR report for fliers from China, others
The Centre has made negative RT-PCR results mandatory for fliers arriving in the country from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand starting January 1. The travelers will need to upload their COVID-19 negative test reports on the government's Air Suvidha portal before their departure. Health Ministry's sources said on Wednesday that India could witness a rise in COVID-19 cases in January.
Why does this story matter?
- The Indian government is on alert since China and other East Asian countries are experiencing a surge of coronavirus cases.
- The government has announced guidelines to be followed while states have brought back COVID-19 curbs to contain any unforeseen breakout.
- Recently, a mother-daughter duo tested COVID-19 positive at Madurai airport, while a few days ago a man tested positive in Agra, all China returnees.
Health minister tweeted the announcement
RT-PCR test has been made mandatory for flyers coming from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand from 1st January 2023. They will have to upload their reports on the Air Suvidha portal before travel.— Dr Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) December 29, 2022
Pattern of global spread of COVID-19 during previous waves
Health ministry officials said that as per the pattern prevalent during the three previous waves, it was observed that a spurt in the number of COVID-19 cases reported in an East Asian country hits Europe in 10 days. It reaches the Americas in the next 10 days, and successively the countries in the Pacific in another 10 days.
Next 40 days crucial for India: Health ministry officials
The surge reaches India in about 30 to 35 days, officials said stressing that the next 40 days would be crucial for India, urging people to stay cautious. However, government officials have said that a travel ban or mask mandate is not on the cards.
188 fresh cases reported in last 24 hours
COVID-19 cases haven't seen a substantial increase in India yet, as 188 cases were reported in the last 24 hours. As many as 6,000 international travelers arriving in India have been tested in the last three days as part of the random sampling reintroduced from December 24. Out of these, 39 were detected to be positive, as per government data.