No Covid-19 test for children under five travelling to India

Young ones are exempted from pre-and-post-arrival testing


Dhanusha Gokulan

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Sat 13 Nov 2021, 1:05 PM

Last updated: Sat 13 Nov 2021, 7:17 PM

Children under five years of age are exempted from both pre-and-post-arrival testing upon arrival in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

However, if they are found to be symptomatic for Covid-19 on arrival or during the home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and treatment as per protocols.

Given that Covid causes continue to decline across the world except for certain regional variations, the Ministry also said that there remains a need to monitor the continuously changing nature of the virus and the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Before the scheduled travel, all travellers should submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal and upload a negative 19 RT-PCR report. The test should have been conducted within 72 hours before undertaking the journey. The Ministry's updated regulations said that each passenger must also submit a declaration concerning the report's authenticity.

The current standard operating procedure shall be valid from November 12. Indian expatriate parents of small children expressed relief following the announcement from the Indian government. "Many parents of toddlers and infants found the process of getting their small children tested for the coronavirus very challenging. This news comes as a huge relief," said Salim Mohammed, a Dubai-based father to two.

On Saturday, India's External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar, confirmed that the government is working towards resuming scheduled flights during a visit to the Dubai Expo 2020.

While addressing the media at the pavilion, Dr Jaishankar said, "We are moving towards resuming scheduled flights. That move is progressing towards normalcy."

Meanwhile, the Ambassador of India to the UAE, Pavan Kapoor, told Khaleej Times that Indian officials have approached UAE's National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) to remove the rapid RT-PCR test requirement for travellers from India at the airport.

"Given the low level of Covid-19 positive cases in India now and the recognition of Indian vaccines (by the World Health Organisation), we have suggested it to them (UAE) to remove the rapid PCR test at the airport requirements. We feel it is not in keeping with the situation," said Kapoor. He added, "We promise to take it up with NCEMA, which have the final call in this matter. We are hopeful there will be a serious reconsideration of our request in this regard."

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