Since November 26, Bangladesh has been on neighbouring India’s list of "at-risk" countries from where travellers would need to follow extra measures, including RT-PCR test, on arrival in the country amid concerns over the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
The other countries in the list updated by the Indian health ministry Sunday include the UK, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil, China, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Botswana, and Israel.
Under the revised guidelines for international arrivals, passengers from the "at-risk" countries will have to undergo post-arrival testing and wait for results at the airport. They will have to undergo home quarantine for seven days if tested negative.
The fliers will have to take a retest on eight-day. However, they will also require more self-monitoring for the next seven days even after coming out negative in the test.
However, if such travellers test positive, their samples should be sent for genomic testing, through which the variant can be identified.
They shall be managed at separate isolation facilities and treated according to the standard protocols, including contact tracing.
The contacts of such positive cases will be kept under institutional quarantine or at home quarantine, monitored strictly by the state government concerned.
Children below five years of age will remain exempted from both pre-and post-arrival testing. They will have to undergo testing and be treated according to the protocol if found symptomatic for Covid on arrival or during the home quarantine period.
Also, five per cent of the total flight passengers will undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport.
This standard operating procedure shall be valid from December 1 till further orders.
Passengers will have to submit the self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha Portal before the scheduled travel from December 1, with details of journeys made in the last 14 days.
Also, it will be mandatory to upload negative RT-PCR test reports on the portal before the journey. The test should have been conducted within 72 hours before undertaking the journey.
The existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been revised taking a risk-based approach in view of reporting of Omicron which has been classified as a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Indian ministry said.
While the initial global response to Covid was criticised as slow and haphazard, the reaction to the new variant came quickly.
Countries around the world slammed their doors shut again to try to keep Omicron at bay Monday, as more cases of the mutant coronavirus emerged and scientists raced to figure out just how dangerous it might be.
Some argued that such restrictions could help countries buy time to analyse the new variant and stop it on its track.
The WHO warned, however, that "the likelihood of potential further spread of omicron at the global level is high. Depending on these characteristics, there could be future surges of Covid, which could have severe consequences."