Omicron Alert: India's New Travel Rules Start From Today

Published 1 year ago

Passengers from "at-risk" nations are being instructed to be ready to wait at the airports till their Covid RT-PCR test results are out. Amid revived stresses over a new Covid variant 'Omicron', the government has put out new regulations for international travellers coming to India. These were declared pursuing a high-level conference to investigate public health preparedness with states and UTs. 

All passengers should upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hrs before going for the journey.

Airlines to enable boarding by just those passengers who have applied in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal, uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.

 Passengers from "at-risk" nations will be tested for Covid on arrival and can't depart from the airport till their RT-PCR test results are out. If found negative, they will sustain a seven-day home quarantine and be re-tested on the 8th day. State administrators will physically attend their homes to guarantee positive home seclusion.

 If found positive for covid, passengers will be separated and doctored, and their samples will instantly be delivered to the INSACOG Labs network, a multi-laboratory, multi-agency, pan-India network established by the government to regulate genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2, for genome sequencing to deduce the strain of the virus. States will then embark contact tracing of these positive people and follow up for 14 days.

Passengers from "at-risk" nations are being instructed to be ready to wait at the airports till their results are available. The record of nations considered "at-risk" presently encompasses the United Kingdom, all 44 nations in Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, and Israel.

States have been instructed to not allow their guards down and maintain a rigorous lookout on the international passengers coming to the nation through several airports, ports, and land border crossings. The "Test, Track, Treat, Vaccinate" policy was reemphasized. States have furthermore been instructed to ramp up testing as the 'Omicron' variant reportedly can't escape RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests that have been employed to inspect Covid so far. Enhancing testing infrastructure, rigid enactment of testing protocols, and strengthening a healthy ratio of RT-PCR tests, which has been established to be more helpful in detection, have been advised. 

 The Centre has furthermore instructed constant monitoring of regions where recent assortments of positive cases have arisen and rapidly send all positive samples for genome sequencing to the INSACOG network. Preparedness of health infrastructure encompassing the availability of ICU, Oxygen beds, ventilators, etc., with an emphasis on rural regions and pediatric trials have been instructed. Health facilities were found to be harshly lacking when the second wave of Covid injured India earlier this year.