India increased sanitary rules including mandatory testing for a few countries and random testing for international passengers.
1. Mandatory Covid-19 testing
With the new rules, travellers arriving from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand are obliged to show a negative Covid-19 testing if they wish to go to India. “The global pandemic is not yet over… The virus is changing its face from time to time,” Indian health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told parliament on Thursday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with top officials to review the Covid-19 situation in the country. India is taking precautionary measures to counter the surge of Covid-19 cases following the increase of cases in neighbouring China. A few cases of BF.7 — the Omicron subvariant that is driving the current surge in China — have been found in India so far, according to local media reports. In India, a country with nearly 1.4 billion, more than 2.2 billion vaccines were administrated, yet only 27% of the population received the booster third dose.
PM @narendramodi chaired a high-level meeting regarding the review of the #COVID situation in India.#IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/bAjzxSug1g— MyGovIndia (@mygovindia) December 22, 2022
2. Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal, a top destination in India, attracting between 7 to 8 millions of visitors annually, has been put on high alert amid rising cases of Covid-19 cases globally. All visitors wishing to visit the emblematic monument in India will now be required to undergo a Covid-19 test before they enter. District Health Information Officer in Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, informed that the popular tourist destination has been put on alert considering the large number of tourists and the associated risk of disease propagation.
3. Random Covid-19 testing
India will also start randomly testing 2% of international passengers arriving at its airports. However, the health minister said the government had no plans yet to halt flights from countries where new cases have been reported. Last week, the Indian government asked states to keep a lookout for any new variants and it urged people to wear masks in crowded areas. With more than 44 million Covid-19 cases to date, India has reported the most in the world after the United States. However, its number of confirmed infections has fallen sharply in the past few months. Currently, the country is reporting an average of 153 cases of Covid-19 every day, according to Mandaviya.