Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Covid test for fliers at Calcutta airport

 Calcutta: Passengers from the UK, Europe, South Africa, Brazil and the West Asian countries will have to undergo an RT-PCR test for Covid-19 after arriving at the Calcutta airport from Tuesday even if they carry a negative report of a test done before boarding the flight.

The decision was taken after the ministry of health issued a guideline in the wake of reports that mutant variants of SARS-CoV2 that are more contagious than earlier strains are in circulation in many countries. 

According to airport officials, nearly 500 passengers who will arrive on four flights from west Asian countries on Tuesday will undergo the RT-PCR test.  

New counters for collecting swab samples of passengers were set up at the international arrival area on Monday. The ministry of health has issued a new advisory for international travellers, particularly those more at risk of contracting Covid-19.

“There is increasing evidence that the mutant variant of SARS-CoV2 are in circulation in many countries and these mutant variants are driving the pandemic in their country of origin. So far the three SARS-CoV2 variants in circulation vis-a-vis UK variant, South Africa variant and Brazil variant have been detected in 88, 44 and 15 countries respectively,” the guideline issued by the health ministry stated.

According to the guideline, all international travellers coming or transiting from flights that originate from the UK and other European countries and West Asia will have to undergo a self-paid RT-PCR test after arriving in Calcutta. Those arriving from South Africa and Brazil will also have to undergo the test.

23/02/21 Sanjay Mandal/Telegraph

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