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Covid-19: Random Testing Of International Passengers From Dec 24 In India, Airlines To Select Flyers For Screening

Amid rising Covid scare across many countries, the Union Health Ministry has asked the Civil Aviation Ministry to ensure a sub-section of 2 per cent of total passengers in the flight undergo random post-arrival testing at the airport on arrival. 

In a letter to Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: “It has been decided that Ministry of Civil Aviation in coordination with airport operators and Airport Health Offices (APHOs) shall ensure a sub-section of 2 per cent of the total passengers in the flight shall undergo random post-arrival testing at the airport on arrival.”

He also said that such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the airlines concerned and be preferably from different countries. Such travellers will submit the samples and shall be allowed to leave the airport.

“A copy of the positive report shall be shared with Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme at shoc.idsp@ncdc.gov.in by the concerned testing laboratory (besides sharing with the APHOs) to be in turn shared with concerned state/UT for further follow-up action. In case, any such travellers are tested positive, their samples should be sent for genomic testing at the designated INSACOG laboratory network.

“While the testing may be coordinated by Ministry of Civil Aviation, cost of testing shall be reimbursed by this Ministry on submission of duly certified bills to respective Airport Health Offices (APHOs). Ministry of Civil Aviation is requested that this testing may be done at a subsidised and uniform rates across all international airports,” Bhushan said in the letter.

This arrangement will come into practice with effect from 10 a.m. on Saturday (December 24).

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