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New COVID Variants: India Makes RT-PCR On Arrival Mandatory For Travellers From These Nations

New Delhi: As new COVID-19 strains are being detected in different countries, a worried Indian government on Thursday made RT-PCR test mandatory for travellers arriving from seven more countries including China.

The other six countries are South Africa, Bangladesh, Botswana, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to all states and union territories that considering reports of new mutations in SARS-CoV-2 and rising number of Variants of Concern (VOCs) and Variants of Interest (Vols) globally, seven countries have been added in the list of countries whose travellers will have to get an RT-PCR test done on landing at Indian airports. This is besides the RT-PCR test they need to get done before boarding the flight.

Till now, only those passengers flying in from the UK, Europe and the Middle East were required to get an extra RT-PCR test done after landing at Indian airports.

The states and UTs have been asked to ensure strict compliance to these guidelines to prevent ‘import’ of Vols and VoCs to India.