Monday, February 6, 2023

Covid: MoCA issues guidelines for random testing of intl passengers

With random coronavirus testing of international arriving passengers set to start from Saturday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that airlines’ crew members will have to bring such identified passengers to the testing facility at the airport.
Against the backdrop of rising coronavirus cases in China and some other parts of the world, the government has decided to subject 2 per cent of the passengers arriving on international flights to random coronavirus test starting from Saturday morning.
In a communication on Friday, the ministry said that airlines are required to direct their crew members to lead and bring identified 2 per cent of international arriving passengers to the testing facility at the airport.
“The airport operators would create necessary infrastructure to facilitate random testing of international arriving passengers at their respective airports,” the communication said.
The communication has been sent to the aviation regulator DGCA and copies have been marked to all scheduled commercial airlines, airport operators as well as to states and Union Territories (UTs), among others. After the random testing, the passenger has to furnish the correct contact and address details to the Airport Health Officers (APHOs) airport authorities.
“The cost of testing shall be reimbursed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on submission of duly certified bills to APHOs,” it said.
Airlines concerned will identify such travellers on each flight, preferably from different countries. Such travellers can leave the airport after giving the samples.
A copy of the positive report will be shared with the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme by the airport concerned. Later, they will be shared with the State/ Union Territory (UT) concerned for further follow-up action.
“In case, any such travellers are tested positive, their samples should be sent for genetic testing at the designated INSACOG laboratory network,” the communication said.

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