According to the new criteria for international arrivals issued today, children under the age of five are exempt from both pre- and post-arrival COVID-19 testing in India.
If they are discovered to be symptomatic for coronavirus infections upon arrival or during the home quarantine period, they will be tested and treated according to protocol, according to the guidelines.
The document noted that while the worldwide trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to fall with some regional variances, it is still necessary to watch the virus’s constantly changing nature and the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
The existing criteria for international arrivals in India (published on February 17 with subsequent addendums) were developed using a risk-based approach. The existing standards for international arrivals in India have been revised, according to the health ministry, in light of increased vaccine coverage around the world and the changing character of the epidemic.
“Pre-arrival and post-arrival testing are not required for children under the age of five. If they are discovered to be symptomatic for COVID-19 upon arrival or during their home quarantine period, they will be tested and treated according to protocol “It was stated.
The ministry added that this standard operating practise will be in effect from November 12 (00:00 Hrs IST) till further orders are issued.
In addition, 15 days must have passed since the COVID-19 vaccine schedule was completed.
Travelers who are fully vaccinated and travelling from a nation with which India has reciprocal agreements for mutual acceptance of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines will be allowed to leave the airport and will not be subjected to home quarantine, according to current norms.
They are required to self-monitor their health for 14 days following their arrival.
If partially or not vaccinated, travellers must take steps such as submitting a sample for a post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival, after which they will be allowed to leave the airport, home quarantine for seven days, re-testing on the eighth day of arrival in India, and further self-monitoring of their health for the next seven days if the results are negative.
The instructions said that “15 days must have passed following the completion of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.”
If passengers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring exhibit signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, or re-test positive for COVID-19, they should self-isolate and contact their nearest health institution or call the national hotline number (1075)/state helpline number.
Deboarding should take place upon arrival, with all passengers subjected to physical distancing and thermal screening by health inspectors stationed at the airport.
The online self-declaration form must be shown to the airport health officials.
Passengers who exhibit symptoms during screening will be segregated and transported to a medical facility in accordance with health procedure. If they are found to be positive, their contacts must be identified and managed according to policy.
Co-passengers sat in the same row, three rows in front and three rows behind, as well as recognised cabin employees, are all contacts in the suspect case. The recommendations further indicated that any community contacts of those travellers who tested positive (during the home quarantine period) would be quarantined for 14 days and tested according to ICMR methodology.
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