Omicron: India issues new guidelines for foreign travellers
Representational Image (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP) (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)
THE Narendra Modi government has issued new guidelines for international passengers arriving in India amid the rising concerns over the new Covid-19 variant – Omicron – after some nations reported cases of the variant.
According to an advisory that the government has issued, the self-declaration board form on Air Suvidha Portal, which has the travel history of the last 14 days of all international passengers arriving in the country, must be filled completely before boarding.
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“Separate holding area (while they are waiting for their RT-PCR test results), maybe demarcated for the passengers coming from ‘at-risk’ countries in each airport, with proper amenities for passengers, ensuring that COVID Appropriate Behaviour is strictly followed including protocols to avoid congestion,” the advisory said.
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The new guidelines also said that the air carriers should put in place a proper randomization process for testing about five per cent of the passengers in flights on arrival, Asian News International reported.
“Additional RT-PCR facilities, as required, may also be set up at all airports,” it said.
“We are aware of the requirements of the new advisory and would be ready with all necessary arrangements on time keeping in mind the fresh guidelines and passenger convenience,” a GMR spokesperson told ANI.
“We have made similar arrangements earlier as well during previous waves of the pandemic. We will ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocol during the stay of passengers inside the terminal,” the spokesperson added.
Genestrings lab, which has deployed its staff at Delhi airport for testing passengers for Covid-19, has increased the testing capacity, as the airport saw huge international arrival passengers at the peak time.
“Genestrings is committed to ensuring full support to the airport operator as well as MoCA and is fully prepared. We anticipate a peak time traffic of about 800-1000 passengers, mainly from European countries at night and hence are working on ensuring adequate staffing at sampling areas,” Dr Gauri Agarwal, founder and director, Genestrings Diagnostics told ANI.
“The Centre listed around 12 countries under the ‘high risk’ category. Genestrings has advised to take proper protocol of testing and provide accurate results on time to the passengers,” Agarwal added.
The lab aims to provide the test reports in four hours to reduce the waiting time period of the passengers, ANI added.