New Delhi, Dec 24: The Centre has made the RT-PCR test mandatory for international arrivals from the countries experiencing a surge in Covid cases.
"The RT-PCR test will be mandatory for international arrivals from China, Japan, S. Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand", Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday.
The Centre has said that if any passenger from these countries on arrival is found symptomatic or tests positive for Covid-19, then he/she will be put under quarantine.
Meanwhile, the states have also been asked to be on alert mode and ramp up the genome sequencing to track the new variant in positive cases.
Mandaviya, in a meeting with states on Friday, urged the states to strengthen the surveillance system for whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network to ensure timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country.
Focus is to be given to health facility-based sentinel surveillance; pan-respiratory virus surveillance; community-based surveillance; and sewage/wastewater surveillance, he added.
Mandaviya said that irrespective of the new COVID variants, 'Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate & Adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour' continue to remain the tested strategy for Covid management.