The Union Health Ministry in India has announced that all passengers, including those transiting through China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand, must present a negative Covid-19 report before arriving at any Indian airport.

The test must be conducted within 72 hours of the journey to India and the negative report must be uploaded on the Air Suvidha portal before departure.

This rule applies to all international flights from these countries and will go into effect on January 1, 2023. In addition, the existing practice of randomly testing 2% of travellers upon arrival in India will continue, regardless of the point of departure.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to the states read: “This will also apply to transiting passengers through the countries (mentioned) irrespective of their originating countries before coming to any Indian Airport.”

The Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Air Suvidha Portal will be made operational for passengers on all international flights from all the six countries. The portal will also allow international flyers arriving in India to submit negative RT-PCR test reports as well as a self-declaration form.

India recorded 173 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases have declined to 2,670, according to Centre’s data updated on Monday morning.

The total number of Covid cases was recorded at 4.46 crore (4,46,78,822) and the toll stood at 5,30,707 with two fatalities — one each in Kerala and Uttarakhand — in the last 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am stated.

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.19% while the weekly positivity was recorded at 0.14%, it said. The Union Health Ministry said 92,955 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. The active cases comprised 0.01 per cent of the total infections, while the national recovery rate increased to 98.8%, according to the ministry’s website.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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