Negative RT-PCR test must for flyers from UK to India from Jan 8: Govt

New Delhi: Air passengers coming in from the United Kingdom from January 8 to 31 will now have to carry negative RT-PCR test report and also mandatory self-paid RT-PCR test at the airport, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.
In wake of infectious coronavirus strain found in UK’s population, flight services between the two countries were suspended on December 22.
The services will resume on January 6.
This strain has so far been detected in over 29 travellers in India.
According to the standard operating procedure issued by the health ministry, those travelling between January 8 and 31, would be mandatorily subjected to self-paid RT-PCR tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned.
“Adequate arrangements for passengers waiting for their RT-PCR test as well as test results duly following effective isolation may also be made at the airports in conjunction with the airport authorities,” the guidelines said.
Passengers will have to submit self-declaration form on the online portal, www.newdelhiairport.in, at least 72 hours before the travel and also carry negative RT-PCR test with them.
Airlines are tasked with ensuring availability of negative test before allowing the passenger on board.
Passengers who test positive at the airport will be kept in isolation in an institutional facility in an unit coordinated by the State Health Authorities.
They would earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment and take necessary action to send the positive samples for genome sequencing.
After genome sequencing, if the report is consistent with the current virus genome circulating in the country, the ongoing treatment protocol including home isolation or treatment will be followed.
“If the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of new variant of SARS-CoV-2 then the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit. The patient shall be tested on 14th day, after having tested positive in the initial test. The patient will be kept in the isolation facility till his sample is tested negative,” the SOP stated.
Those who are found negative on testing with RT-PCR at the airport would be advised quarantine at home for 14 days and regularly followed up by the concerned State and District Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme.
The central government on Friday said that four more cases of the mutant Covid UK strain have been detected in the country, taking the total tally of such cases to 29 so far.
They are kept in physical isolation in health facilities.
Notably, the new UK variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.