New Delhi: India has made RT-PCR test mandatory for transit international passengers from 6 countries. Transit passengers from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand and Japan will be required to upload covid RT-PCR negative reports 72 hours before boarding, the health ministry said on Monday. Earlier it was mandatory only for passengers coming from these 6 countries.

The health ministry said rt-PCR test (72 hours before starting travel) is mandatory for passengers on all international flights from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand and Japan before boarding. This rule will also apply to transit passengers.

India’s move comes at a time when China is dealing with its worst Covid outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic. Last month, a report reported that by December 20, about 20 per cent of the population in China had contracted the virus.

Amid the epidemic in China, many videos of crowds in hospitals and piles of corpses in the mortuary are going viral on social media. China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore are the countries for which new rules have been announced for international passengers in India. The RT-PCR test is considered to be the most reliable for testing for the virus.

The number of daily covid cases in India remains low. Last month, ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations, the Centre had reminded states to ensure wearing of masks in crowded places and follow Covid protocols. The central government had also stressed on the need to ensure availability of medical oxygen.

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