RT-PCR certificate must for passengers from China, Japan,Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore Union Health Minister also reviews the adequacy of Covid drugs

All international passengers travelling from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand to India will have to undergo mandatory RT-PCR tests before departure and upload a report on the Air Suvidha portal from 1 January 2023, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday. 

This is in addition to the random 2 per cent tests of all international passengers on their arrival in India irrespective of the port of departure, stated the Union Health Ministry. 

It said that the test should have been conducted within 72 hours of undertaking the journey to India. This is being done in view of the evolving Covid-19 situation worldwide, particularly in the aforesaid countries. Earlier on Wednesday, according to sources in the Union Health Ministry, the next 40 days will be crucial as India may see a surge in Covid cases in mid-January. 

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a meeting with drug manufacturing pharma companies in order to prepare for Covid-19 management. Mandaviya reviewed the status and adequacy of Covid management drugs and production capacities with representatives of pharma companies through a VC, here on Thursday, so India is equipped to handle any situation effectively. This review meeting was held in view of the spike in Covid19 cases in some countries. Through a presentation, the Union Minister was briefed regarding the evolving global scenario. Dr Mansukh Mandaviya appreciated and congratulated the pharma companies for their invaluable contribution during the Covid pandemic in the country. “India’s pharmaceutical industry is robust, resilient and responsive. 

It is due to their strength that we could not only meet our down demand during the pandemic but also be in a position to supply medicines to 150 countries.” This was achieved without any fall in quality and no hike in the price of the medicines, he stressed. The pharma companies were asked to keep a close watch on the global supply chain scenario. They were also asked to closely monitor the production and availability of APIs as well as formulations of essential medicines for Covid management. They were asked to ensure adequate stocks and availability of all drugs including Covid drugs in the supply chain up to the retail level. Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, Ms. S Aparna, Secretary (Pharma), Shri Kamlesh Pant, Chairman, NPPA, Dr V G Somani, DCGI, and representatives from pharmaceutical companies were present during the review meeting.

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