Last updated on Sep 7th, 2023 by Heena Ganotra
COVID cases are on a rise in 5 major countries (China, Japan, Brazil, Korea, and USA). Seeing the chaos, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released a set of new guidelines for travelers coming into the country on 21 December 2022. This is in supersession of guidelines issued on the subject on 2nd September 2022. While the measures aren’t stringent yet, we all must take the necessary precautions to avoid bringing another wave of COVID.
Precautions To Be Taken Before The Flight
- All travelers should preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their country.
Guidelines To Be Followed During The Flight
- Use of masks and physical distancing on flights and at all points of entry is advised.
- Passengers found symptomatic during travel shall be isolated as per standard protocol. These travelers should be wearing a mask, isolated and segregated from other passengers in flight/travel, and shifted to an isolation facility subsequently for follow-up treatment.
Guidelines To Be Followed On Arrival
- All passengers must follow physical distancing.
- All passengers will have to undergo thermal screening at the point of entry.
- The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and shifted to a designated medical facility as per health protocol.
- 2% of the total passengers on the flight shall undergo random post-arrival testing at the airport on arrival. This 2% of the passengers will be chosen by the airport authorities on a random basis (preferably from different countries). After the collection of their samples, they shall be allowed to leave the airport.
- If their samples come out to be positive, their samples will be further sent for genomic testing at the INSACOG laboratory network. They shall be treated/isolated as per the protocol.
- All travelers should self-monitor their health post arrival also shall report to their nearest health facility or call the National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number in case they have any symptoms suggestive.
- Children under 12 years of age are exempted from post-arrival random testing. However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during the period of self-monitoring period, they shall undergo testing and be treated as per the laid down protocol.
- The Air Suvidha form that has been discontinued for now can make a comeback too.
Why this Sudden Change in the Guidelines?
China, after rolling its zero-COVID policy n Dec 2022, saw a surge in COVID cases. Countries like Japan, Korea, Brazil, and USA have also seen an increase in numbers. Till 21 Dec 2022, even India had reported 4 COVID cases. This led to the PM holding a meeting and devising ways to curb the spread of the Omicron subvariant BF.7.
And this is what led to these guidelines.
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A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what convinced her to make a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness and kindness in abundance. Insight- Some say she is living the best life anyone could because she reads, writes, travels, and makes merry. They’re right because what else does one really need! :)