COVID BF.7: New guidelines for air travellers. Testing restarts at airports in India
International travellers arriving from China and other countries will be subjected to random sample testing for the coronavirus at airports. Because the country is experiencing a significant increase in COVID cases. This action taken in response to the recent rise in COVID cases in several regions of the world and after evaluating the COVID-19 situation in India.
COVID BF.7 variant: What we know so far
According to the most recent press sources, three instances of Omicron subvariant BF.7 have been found in India thus far. This strain is reportedly to blame for China’s current COVID case increase. In response to concerns that the wave of infections in China would give rise to new mutations, India took action to examine India’s COVID preparation. It encouraged people to use masks in crowded locations to prevent the virus’s spread.
COVID BF.7: Latest guidelines for travellers coming into India
- Air Suvidha has returned. Flyers arriving from these nations are now required to fill out the form to certify their health status.
- Every symptomatic person will be segregated and sent to a specific medical institution.
- All overseas arrivals from China, South Korea, Japan, and Thailand will now require RT-PCR testing. Those discovered to be symptomatic or COVID-19 positive shall be isolated.
- Mandatory thermal screening is now required of all travellers entering India.
- Additionally, 2% of all travellers on each international flight arriving will have a COVID-19 test when they arrive. The choice of these passengers will be made at random. Once the sample has been provided, passengers can go without having to wait for the test results.
While Singapore has increased protection for staff members who are interacting with arrivals, no other country has yet taken any significant precautions for travellers. All staff members will don additional personal protection equipment, such as N95 masks and face shields, even those operating at the airport’s taxi stands. The New Year celebrations will proceed as scheduled, and the issue is under control, according to Thailand’s health officials.
Protocols to be followed before arrival, during flight
- Preferably, all travellers should be completely immunised in accordance with their country’s primary immunisation schedule against COVID-19.
- There must be an announcement made throughout flights/travel and at all points of entry regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the precautions that should be taken (preferably the use of masks and subsequent physical separation).
- Any traveller exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms must be separated in accordance with the established procedure, which calls for the donning of a mask, isolation and segregation from other passengers throughout the flight or transit, and eventual transfer to an isolation facility for further care.
Protocols to be followed on arrival
- De-boarding should be performed while maintaining a physical distance.
- The health officials stationed at the entry gate shall conduct thermal screening on each passenger.
- Passengers who exhibit symptoms during screening must be immediately segregated and transported to a certified medical facility in accordance with health protocol (as above).
- Random post-arrival testing will be conducted on a subset (2% of the total flight passengers) when they arrive at the airport.
- Each flight’s concerned carriers will identify these passengers (preferably from different countries). Following the submission of the samples, they will be permitted to depart the airport.
- Samples from these travellers should be referred to the INSACOG laboratory network for further genetic testing if their tests are positive.
- They must get the prescribed standard protocol for treatment and isolation.
- All travellers should self-monitor their health after arrival and should go to the closest medical institution or call the national hotline number (1075) or state helpline number if they have any symptoms that could be serious.
- Post-arrival random testing is not required for younger than 12 years old. COVID-19 symptoms are discovered upon arrival or during the self-monitoring period, they must submit to testing and receive the prescribed treatment.