As new rules for testing start for travellers from countries where Omicron cases have been found, a video today showed preparations at the Delhi International airport.
Chairs that are socially distanced have been placed in long rows within a holding area for passengers who will need to wait for an RT-PCR tests upon arrival.
Holding area at Delhi airport for international passengers who will require to clear an RTPCR test upon arrival from Dec 1 before being allowed to exit or take a connecting flight. No clarity on the no of PCR counters being set up or the time required for test results.#COVID19pic.twitter.com/edJ15tU3Yo— Vishnu Som (@VishnuNDTV) November 30, 2021
From tomorrow, on-arrival Covid testing will be a must for passengers from more than 14 at-risk nations where the Omicron variant has been detected, before they are allowed to leave.
The government amped up rules for screening and testing of international arrivals after a man who recently returned from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19. The strain has not yet been established.
All arrivals from Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel will be tested at the Indira Gandhi International airport using the RT-PCR method.
Also, five per cent of all travellers from other countries will be randomly tested, according to the Union Health Ministry.
States like Karnataka and Delhi have made a seven-day quarantine period mandatory for all international passengers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged officials to review a decision to resume all scheduled international flights from December 15.
Two Chief Ministers - Maharashtra's Uddhav Thackeray and Delhi's Arvind Kejriwal- have urged the Centre to stop flights from countries affected by Omicron.
Omicron or the B.1.1.529 Covid variant was first detected in South Africa last week and has been designated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a ''variant of concern''.
At a meeting this morning, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised states and Union Territories to ramp up testing for early identification and management of cases. The new variant doesn't escape RT-PCR and RAT tests, Mr Bhushan reportedly said.