Govt mandates Air Suvidha portal for international passengers' convenience

In the wake of the Omicron threat, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare mandated contactless self-declaration at Air Suvidha portal to ensure the smooth passage of international travellers arriving in India. "The portal was launched in August 2020 and now has been strengthened to accommodate travel guidelines issued on November 30, 2021. This portal, developed by MoCA, aids passengers in providing their details of travel and final stay along with RT-PCR, vaccination status etc," said Ministry of Civil Aviation on Tuesday.

The mandate comes at a time when passengers at Delhi airport complained of chaos and crowding at its terminal following the implementation of new coronavirus-related travel guidelines.

"The implementation of the Air Suvidha intends to provide hassle-free, queue free, and convenient air travel to all international passengers arriving in India. Air Suvidha portal has already assisted over 250,000 passengers from Dec 1-Dec 5, 2021 since the new travel guidelines were issued on November 30. Furthermore, over 10 million passengers have been benefitted from the Air Suvidha portal since its launch in August 2020," the ministry further added.

To ensure the necessary prevention of the Omicron variant of the Covid virus, the exemption forms from the Air Suvidha portal have been discontinued, and filling of the details have been made compulsory for all international passengers arriving in India. All international passengers arriving in India are mandated to declare their current health status prior to boarding on the Air Suvidha Portal along with the required documents: copy of passport, PCR negative certificate from a test conducted within 72 hours of departure and the vaccination certificate. For immigration, the copy received in e-mail is essential on arrival in India and has to be verified at the APHO counter.

Updates made to make Air Suvidha friendlier for passengers and health/state officials:

* All applications from ‘at risk’ countries are marked with H and red band and others are green. This helps in smooth on arrival segregation and processing. This list is dynamically updated to keep up with MOHFW updates.

* Application also takes into account countries visited in the last 14 days to highlight ‘at risk’ applications. This field is also made into multi-select drop-down option for standardization.

* Standardisation of fields by providing drop-down list E.g. district and state for address.

* Updated FAQ list and customer care link along with the latest advisory at the start of the portal.

* For ‘At Risk’ countries passengers are advised to pre-book their test on arrival test and the link to respective testing facility is provided to the passengers on SDF submission.

All international passengers are mandated to follow the below measures arriving/transiting from Countries at-risk

* Submit self-declaration form on Air Suvidha portal

* Upload negative RT-PCR report (conducted within 72 hrs. before the journey)

* Post-arrival COVID-19 test at arriving Airport (self-paid)

* Home quarantine for 7 days,

* Re-test on the 8th day and if negative, self-health monitoring for next 7 days

List of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing, are: Countries in Europe including The United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Israel.

Two more cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been reported in Maharashtra's Mumbai on Monday, taking the total tally of the new Covid-19 variant in Maharashtra to 10 and the total number of infections in the country to 23.

The first two cases of Omicron variant were reported in the country in Karnataka, followed by one in Gujarat's Jamnagar and then another in Maharashtra's Dombivili.

On Sunday, seven cases were reported in Maharashtra's Pune district, of which six belonged to the same family.

In Jaipur, nine cases of the Omicron Covid variant were confirmed.

On December 5, Delhi reported its first case of Omicrona man who arrived from Tanzania was found infected with Omicron admitted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan hospital in the national capital.

The new variant of Covid-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.

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