Indian Health Ministry Amends Rules For Int'l Arrivals Over Omicron Coronavirus Strain

Indian Health Ministry Amends Rules for Int'l Arrivals Over Omicron Coronavirus Strain

NEW DELHI (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 29th November, 2021) The Indian Health Ministry made amendments Sunday to the guidelines for international arrivals introduced over a fortnight ago, due to the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

The amendments will enter into force starting December 1. According to them, passengers will have to list the countries they have been to 14 days prior to entering India, when filling out the form on the Air Suvidha portal. As earlier, passengers must show the form and the negative PCR-test result before getting aboard.

"Passengers originating or transiting from at-risk countries shall be informed by the airlines that they will undergo post arrival testing, quarantine if tested negative, stringent isolation protocols if tested positive," the guidelines say.

"At-risk countries" include European countries, the South African Republic, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, and Israel. Travelers coming from those countries will have to quarantine seven days after arrival given negative tests results.

Then, they will have to be tested again and monitor their health for the next seven days.

People coming from all the other countries are obligated to watch their health on their own for two weeks after arrival. However, the authorities will be entitled to selectively check the health of up to 5% of such passengers.

In case passengers show the symptoms of coronavirus, they will be immediately isolated, and their samples will be sent for genomic testing to a special laboratory. If the Omicron strain is detected in passengers, the Indian Health Ministry orders them to fulfill the "strict isolation" requirement.

The World Health Organization (WHO) identified on Friday the new strain, first detected in South Africa, as one of concern, as it is reported to be more transmissible and dangerous. The WHO dubbed it Omicron, the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.