March 22, 2023

Covid: 7-day home quarantine, test on 8th day must for all international arrivals – Times of India

NEW DELHI: All international travellers flying into India will have to undergo a mandatory seven-day home quarantine and an RT-PCR test on the eighth day, while travellers from countries specified as “at risk” will also have to submit a sample for Covid testing post-arrival and will have to wait for the results at the airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.

If negative, travellers from “at risk” nations will also have to undergo a home quarantine for seven days and then get their RT-PCR test done on the eighth day.

In the wake of rising Covid-19 cases globally, the Centre on Friday revised guidelines for international travellers, which will come into force from January 11 and remain effective till further government orders. “Travellers shall also be required to upload results of RT-PCR test for Covid-19 done on the eighth day on Air Suvidha portal (to be monitored by respective states and UTs),” the health ministry said.


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From among those who arriving from non-at risk countries, 2% will be selected for random testing on arrival. If negative, those who have undergone sampling will home quarantine and self-monitor their health for seven days. And if positive, their samples will be further sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network.

Covid: Ahead of booster rollout, vaccine shots cross 150 crore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the feat as a “historic milestone”, calling it a “remarkable day” on the vaccination front. “Congratulations to our fellow citizens on crossing the 150-crore milestone. Our vaccination drive has ensured that many lives are saved. At the same time, let us also keep following all Covid-19 protocols,” he said.

The health ministry on Friday also updated the list of at-risk countries which now includes — countries in Europe including UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Israel, Congo, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Zambia. The list is updated and based on the “prevalent epidemiological situation of Covid-19 in these countries including circulation of variants of concern,” the ministry said.

Under the new guidelines, India has implemented stricter arrival norms for those arriving even from non at-risk countries and expanded the list of “at risk” nations due to the spread of Omicron. Other rules remain the same in terms of pre-departure information and requirement to download Arogya Setu App. Laboratories shall prioritise the testing of samples from travellers selected for random testing.

International travellers arriving through seaports or land ports will also have to undergo the same protocols as above, except that facility for online registration is not available currently.

Contacts of the suspect cases are the co-passengers seated in the same row, three rows in front and three rows behind along with the identified cabin crew, the guidelines said.

Also, all the community contacts of the travellers who have tested positive (during the home quarantine period) would be subjected to quarantine for 14 days and tested as per the Indian Council of Medical Research protocol, the guidelines stated.

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