The Indian government on Wednesday issued new guidelines for incoming international travellers in the wake of three variants of the COVID-19, which were first detected in Britain, South Africa and Brazil respectively, according to an official statement.
All three variants have demonstrated increased transmissibility, as reported by the World Health Organisation, said the statement issued by the health ministry.
So far, the mutant strain first found in South Africa had been detected in four returnees to India – one from Angola, one from Tanzania and two from South Africa.
Besides, a case of the variant first found in Brazil was detected in the first week of February in India, while 187 people have tested positive for the variant first detected in Britain.
The new Standard Operating Procedures for international travellers shall be valid from February 22.
Separate set of guidelines have been issued for international travellers coming in from Britain, Europe and the Middle East, and through flights originating from all other countries.
As per the new guidelines, all travellers should submit a self-declaration form before the scheduled travel, and upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report of a test conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.
Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise.
The international travellers should also give an undertaking before they are allowed to travel within India that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to undergo home quarantine or self-monitoring of their health for 14 days, or as warranted.
Arrival in India without negative report shall be allowed only for those traveling to India in the exigency of death in the family.
On arrival in the country the passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol.
The ministers of health and civil aviation have reviewed the situation with regard to point of entry, and actions required to minimise the risk of importation of mutant strains of the virus.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from South Asia