New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhi airport on Wednesday said operations for international arrivals are running smoothly after the implementation of the new COVID guidelines, and a total of 1,013 passengers have completed their arrival formalities, including taking RT-PCR tests. The strict guidelines for international passengers, especially coming from 'at-risk' countries, came into effect from Tuesday midnight amid rising concerns over the emergence of the COVID variant Omicron. In a series of tweets, Delhi airport said operations for international arrivals are running smoothly after the implementation of the new guidelines laid down by the Union health ministry.

Under the issued guidelines by MHA, international travellers coming from affected countries will need a mandatory negative report of the RT-PCR test conducted on arrival in India for leaving the airport. Also, if they fail to provide the negative report, the government has allotted identified quarantine centres for them to self-isolate them.

Earlier on Monday, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued an order asking airports to have a “separate holding area (while passengers from at-risk countries are awaiting their RT-PCR test results).”

“All incoming passengers accordingly may be advised, while filling the Air Suvidha portal, that they should plan their onwards journey keeping in mind the stay at the airport to obtain the test results,” the order mentioned.

For the lesser known, the travel guidelines come in after B.1.1.529 variant (Omicron) was first reported from South Africa on November 24 and it got classified as a variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

12 At-Risk countries announced by India for international travel

Fliers from these 12 at-risk countries will be subjected to testing and extra surveillance. This list includes countries in Europe including the UK and South Africa, Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong, Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Singapore, and Zimbabwe.

Here, have a look at the New Travel guidelines issued by India for Fliers:

- Under updated travel guidelines, passengers coming to India from countries identified as ‘countries at-risk will have to mandatorily undergo post-arrival COVID-19 testing at the airport on arrival in addition to pre-departure COVID-19 testing undertaken 72 hours before the departure.

- Once the results come in, Negative passengers can depart the airport but have to undergo home isolation for 7 days, followed by repeat testing on the 8th day of arrival in India, followed by 7 days of self-monitoring.

-Passengers und positive in these tests will be isolated and treated as per the clinical management protocol besides their samples also taken for Whole Genome Sequencing.

- The guidelines also mandate 5% of the travellers coming from countries that are not in the ‘at risk category’ will also be tested on a random basis at the airports for COVID-19.

-Test samples of all individuals testing positive for Covid-19, either at airports under home isolation or during random sampling, will also be sent for Whole Genomic Sequencing at identified INSACOG network laboratories to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2 variants (including Omicron).

Posted By: Ashita Singh