Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said two per cent of international passenger arrivals are being randomly tested for Covid.

The move comes amidst India expressing concern over the sharp rise in Covid cases in China and elsewhere including Japan, Korea, and USA.

“The 2 per cent random sampling of all international passengers is being considered at all international airports to minimise the risk of ingress of any new variant into the country,” he informed the Parliament.

Presently, 153 new cases on an average are being reported daily here, versus approximately 5.87 lakh new cases globally.

An MEA spokesperson said, “We are keeping an eye on the situation in China. We have not issued any travel advisories yet. But travelers should follow the guidelines of the country they belong to.”


Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi, who chaired a high level review meeting on Covid preparedness attended by Mandaviya, Civil Aviaiton Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and other senior officials. . He cautioned against complacency and called for maintaining strict vigil, including at international airports.

Calling for following Covid-appropriate behaviour “at all times” the PM asked officials to regularly monitor availability and price of essential medicines. He also advised states to ensure operational readiness of hospital infrastructure.

Officials have been asked to ramp up testing and genome sequencing efforts.


Earlier this week, the Centre asked states to keep a sharp lookout for any new Covid-19 variants and urged them to send samples, on a daily basis, to mandated labs for genome sequencing.

In view of the upcoming New Year celebrations, States also need to focus on ensuring adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour and limit crowding; and have been asked to ramp up coverage of precaution doses. Already some like Karnataka, has issued an advisory that mention wearing masks in closed and public places, random testing and increasing vaccination coverage.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, post a review meeting, said there are no BF.7 variant in Delhi; but XBB variants are coming in. Only 24 per cent of the eligible population in Delhi has taken booster shots.