Fact Check: Is COVID Negative Report Mandatory For Passengers Travelling To India?

Bhubaneswar: The Health Ministry has rubbished media reports that India is planning to make a COVID-19 negative test report mandatory for passengers arriving from countries with a high number of cases.

A few media reports cited Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya as saying that people from “selected countries” identified over the next week, where the caseload is higher, “will have to upload their (COVID-19) RT-PCR reports” and only then will they be permitted to travel to India.

Mandaviya instead had told the Parliament on Thursday that India would randomly test 2% of international passengers arriving at its airports for COVID-19.

Citing an increase in COVID-19 cases in China and other parts of the globe, the states have been asked to look out for any new variants of the virus while people have been urged to wear masks in crowded areas.

In a letter to the state, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Friday said, “Considering the upcoming festive season and new year celebrations, there is a need to put in place requisite public health measures and other arrangements to minimise the risk of increase in transmission of the disease by maintaining and strengthening focus on test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour – use of mask, hand and respiratory hygiene and adherence to physical distancing.”

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