India reimposes mandatory RTPCR tests for travelers from China, 4 countries

New Delhi, Nov 29 (EFE).- Indian authorities have made it mandatory for travelers coming from China and four other Asian countries to undergo mandatory RTPCR tests before departure, amid an alert over a resurgence in Covid-19 cases in these regions.

The measure, which will come into effect from Jan.1, requires all passengers to upload their negative RTPCR test report on the Air Suvidha portal, part of India’s online platform for Covid management.

“International passengers travelling from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand to India will be mandatorily required to undergo RTPCR tests before their departure from these countries/destinations,” the health ministry said in a statement Thursday.

“The test should have been conducted within 72 hours of undertaking the journey to India,” added the ministry, which only weeks earlier had done away with this measure.

On Dec.24, India had started carrying out testing on international travelers arriving from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Moreover, India has been carrying put a random testing of two percent of all international passengers in all incoming international flights upon arrival, irrespective of their port of departure.

“This is being done in view of the evolving COVID19 situation across the world, particularly in the aforesaid countries,” said the health ministry statement.

Rapid coronavirus tests are also being carried out at some of the major tourist attractions and monuments of the country, including the famous Taj Mahal at Agra.

Although official figures indicate that this country of 1.4 billion people detected less than three hundred infections in the last 24 hours, the government has ordered regional and health authorities to remain vigilant against the virus.

India has one of the most affected countries by the pandemic, accounting for a total of more than 44.6 million cases and over 530,000 deaths, according to official figures.

However, international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the actual death toll in the south Asian country was significantly higher and might have touched 4.7 million.

The nation experienced a virulent second wave of the coronavirus that peaked in May last year, with more than 400,000 cases and 4,000 deaths a day, causing the healthcare system to collapse, with overcrowded hospitals and crematoria. EFE


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