Covid-19 Negative Report Now Mandatory for UK Returnees in Karnataka Airports

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With resumption of passenger flights from the UK to India, the Karnataka government has said that all returnees will have to undergo mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival and necessary arrangements have been put in place by the airport and health department officials.

All passengers returning from United Kingdom to India between January 8-30 will have to submit a self-declaration form on the online portal at at least 72 hours before their scheduled travel.

Travellers will have to carry a Covid-19 negative report with RT-PCR test done 72 hours and also to be uploaded on the online portal.

Speaking to reporters after visiting the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru to review the preparations, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Saturday said, "The first flight from the UK is at around 4am is in which the passengers will be coming to Bengaluru. According to airport officials, it will be a full flight with about 330 passengers. Even if they have got a report (Covid-19 negative) from there, according to guidelines they will have to mandatorily undergo RT-PCR test on arrival."

"It will take three to four hours for the RT-PCR test reports to come, once the report comes negative they will be allowed to go out," he added.

Those passengers who test positive for the new variant of coronavirus will be shifted to an institutional isolation facility earmarked by the state health authorities and will have to stay in the facility until their test samples are sent to the Indian SARS-CoV2 Genomic Consortium (INSACOG) lab for further testing.

According to the guidelines those who are found negative on testing with RT-PCR at the airport would be advised quarantine at home for 14 days and regularly followed up by the concern state/district integrated disease surveillance progamme teams (IDSP). If any returnee founds to be untraceable, then this will be immediately notified to the IDSP or district surveillance officer.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government is still searching for around 75 passengers and their contacts who had returned from the UK before December 23 and could be likely carriers of the new mutant strain of the Covid-19 virus.

India had suspended all passenger flights between the UK and India from December 23 to January 7 as a new variant of coronavirus emerged there.

(with inputs from PTI)