Four foreigners tested positive for Covid at Bihar's Gaya airport, said a government official on Monday. "Four foreigners, three from Myanmar and one from Bangkok, have tested positive for Covid at Gaya airport. They are asymptomatic and have been placed under isolation," said Ranjan Kumar Singh, Civil Surgeon, Gaya.
Ramping up anti-Covid measures, the government on Saturday said RT-PCR test would be made mandatory for passengers from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand and asked states to conduct a mock drill on December 27 to ensure readiness of health facilities including medical oxygen generation plants.
From Saturday, random coronavirus testing of international passengers started at airports including those in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Indore and Goa under new guidelines that require testing of two per cent of the passengers arriving in each international flight.
With the ordeal faced by the country during the second COVID-19 wave in April 2021 still fresh in the minds, the Centre told states and union territories that oxygen control rooms should be reinvigorated for prompt resolutions of oxygen-related issues and challenges. Also mock drills should be held at all health facilities on Tuesday to ensure the readiness of the COVID-19 health facilities to meet the increase in clinical care needs due to any spurt in cases.
Reintroducing more precautionary measures, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that passengers arriving in India from China and four other countries if found COVID-19 positive or with fever will be quarantined.
''In view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, passengers from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Bangkok (Thailand) are required to upload their RT-PCR reports in advance (for travel to India).
''After landing in India, they will undergo thermal screening and we have issued an order for them to be quarantined if found positive or with fever on their arrival in the country,'' Mandaviya told reporters in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
The Union health minister said that filling up the 'Air Suvidha' form to declare their health status will be made mandatory for passengers coming from these countries.
The Air Suvidha portal was launched in August 2020 through which international passengers had to submit details of their journey, Covid vaccination and testing status but it was discontinued in November this year.
With the reduction in cases and more widespread vaccination, mandatory RT-PCR tests were also discontinued for international passengers by November.
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