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India to test travellers from high-risk countries

Mumbai Airport T2
Mumbai Airport Terminal 2, © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

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NEW DELHI - India will make COVID-19 molecular tests mandatory for people arriving directly or indirectly from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.

This happens in a bid to contain the spread of more infectious virus variants found in those countries.

India, which has reported the highest number of overall COVID-19 cases after the United States, detected the South African variant in four people last month and the Brazilian one in one person this month.

The government has said the South African and Brazilian strains can more easily infect a person's lungs than the UK mutation. India has so far reported 187 cases of infection with the UK variant.

No direct flights

The government late on Wednesday said airlines would be required from next week to segregate inbound travellers from those countries. India does not have direct flights with Brazil and South Africa, and most people travelling from these countries generally transit through Middle Eastern airports.

"All the travellers arriving from/transiting through flights originating in United Kingdom, Europe or the Middle East shall be mandatorily subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival," India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement.

All flyers will also have to carry a recent COVID-negative report before boarding any flight to India, except in extraordinary circumstances like death in a family.
© Reuters, aero.uk | 18/02/2021 09:58


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