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Omicron variant: Centre issues new guidelines for international passengers from 'high risk' countries

The new COVID-19 variant, which was first identified in South Africa, has now been confirmed in several nations. Countries have also imposed restrictions on passengers arriving from South Africa, while some have ordered rigorous testings. 

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: November 30, 2021 11:19 IST
new coronavirus variant
Image Source : PTI

Centre issues new guidelines for international passengers amid rising concerns of 'Omicron' COVID variant

Highlights

  • The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa
  • International passengers will have to fill their travel history details on Air Suvidha Portal
  • Passengers would have to wait at the airport premises till their RT-PCR test result is handed over

Amid rising concerns of the new COVID-19 variant 'Omicron', India has issued new guidelines for international passengers arriving in the country. The development comes after some countries reported cases of the new variant. According to an advisory issued by the Centre, international passengers would be required to fill a self-declaration board form on Air Suvidha Portal. The form, which would be required before boarding, will contain the travel history details of the last 14 days of all international passengers arriving in India. 

The advisory further stated that a separate holding area for passengers would be demarcated at each airport, where they would stay while waiting for their RT-PCR test results. This area would include proper amenities for passengers, ensuring that COVID Appropriate Behavior (CAB) is strictly followed, including protocols to avoid congestion, it said. 

The new guidelines also said that airlines shall put in place a proper randomization process for testing about 5 per cent of the passengers in flights on arrival.

"Additional RT-PCR facilities, as required, may also be set up at all airports," it added.

"We are aware of the requirements of the new advisory and would be ready with all necessary arrangements on time keeping in mind the fresh guidelines and passenger convenience," a GMR spokesperson said. 

"We have made similar arrangements earlier as well during previous waves of the pandemic. We will ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocol during the stay of passengers inside the terminal," the spokesperson added.

Similarly, Genestrings lab is deploying its staff at the Delhi airport for testing passengers for COVID, as the airport witnesses huge international passengers' arrival.

"Genestrings is committed to ensuring full support to the airport operator as well as MoCA and is fully prepared. We anticipate a peak time traffic of about 800-1000 passengers, mainly from European countries at night and hence are working on ensuring adequate staffing at sampling area," Dr. Gauri Agarwal founder and Director Genestrings Diagnostics said. 

Further, Agarwal said, "The Centre listed around 12 countries under 'high risk' category. Genestrings has advised to take proper protocol of testing and provide accurate results on time to the passengers. The lab also aims to provide the test reports in four hours to reduce the waiting time period of the passengers by ensuring adequate requirements of staff."

(With inputs from ANI)

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