- The move comes after discovery of a new Covid variant - C.1.2.
- South Africa, China, Mauritius, New Zealand have been added to the list.
- The new variant was first detected in South Africa in May.
A negative RT-PCR result not older than 72 hours has been made mandatory for passengers travelling to India from seven more countries, including, China and South Africa. The move comes after the discovery of a new Covid variant - C.1.2 - which could be more infectious and has shown signs of evading protection provided by vaccines.
While earlier this rule was only applicable for arrivals from the UK, Europe and Middle East, seven more countries - South Africa, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe - have been added to the list today, according to a latest guideline by Ministry of Health.
The new variant was first detected in South Africa in May. It has since been found in China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, England, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland.
As per the new guidelines, only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the flights toIndia and on arrival, they will again be tested for Covid through RT-PCR test.
The ministry has also asked the states to send a fixed percentage of samples of positive cases among international travellers for genome surveillance.
Earlier, Mumbai's civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) made RT-PCR tests mandatory for international passengers arriving at the city airport from September 3 over fears about the new strain.
C.1.2. evolved from C.1., a lineage of the virus that dominated infections in the first wave of the virus in South Africa in mid-2020. It has between 44 and 59 mutations from the original virus detected in Wuhan in China.
The new strain has not been found in India so far, reported news agency ANI.