India restarts random Covid testing for international passengers as infections rise worldwide

Three cases of Omicron subvariant strain have been detected in the country

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AFP
AFP

Published: Wed 21 Dec 2022, 5:18 PM

Last updated: Wed 21 Dec 2022, 5:20 PM

India has re-introduced random testing for international passengers across airports in the country amid a sudden spurt in Covid-19 cases in China and some other countries.

The move comes following a meeting chaired by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to review the Covid-19 situation in the country.

"Covid is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be alert and strengthen surveillance. We are prepared to manage any situation," Mandaviya said in a report.

"Random sample testing will be done for international air passengers arriving from various countries, including China," a source said.

Sources said three cases of Omicron subvariant BF.7, apparently the strain driving China's current surge of Covid-19 cases, have been detected in India so far.

After the meeting, Mandaviya said Covid-19 is not over yet. "I have directed all concerned to be alert and strengthen surveillance. We are prepared to manage any situation."

During the meeting, attended by experts and senior officials, the minister was briefed on the global Covid situation and the domestic scenario, including the preparedness of all stakeholders.

Noting that only 27-28 per cent of India's eligible population have taken the precaution dose of Covid-19, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V.K. Paul, after the meeting, said people should take the jab and also wear masks in crowded places.

"People should wear masks in crowded areas. Those with comorbidities and old should especially adhere to this," Paul said.

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