Rajesh Bhushan city New Delhi India covid-19 testing Health Rajesh Bhushan city New Delhi India

Health ministry asks aviation ministry to initiate random testing of 2% passengers post arrival at all international airports

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NEW DELHI : To minimize the risk of new covid variants, the union health ministry has requested slew of covid-19 preventive measures to be followed at all the airports.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written a letter to Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation to coordinate with airport operators and ensure random sampling of passengers‘ post arrival at the airport.

Starting Christmas eve i.e.,24 December, the arrangements should come into force from 10AM.  “While ministry of health & family welfare is maintaining a close watch over the dynamic situation, in order to minimize the risk of ingress of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the country, it has been decided that ministry of civil aviation in coordination with airport operators and AirPort Health Offices (APHO) shall ensure that a sub section of 2% of the total passengers in the flight shall undergo random post arrival testing at the airport on arrival," Bhushan said in the letter seen by Mint.  “Such travelers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries).

A copy of the positive report shall be shared with Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme by the concerned Testing Laboratory to be in turn shared with the concerned states/UT for further follow up action," said Bhushan requesting the civil aviation ministry that the testing may be done at a subsidized and uniform rate across all the international airports.

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