India plans to make COVID-19 negative test mandatory for passengers from high caseload countries

FILE PHOTO: Passengers wait with their luggage at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is planning to make a COVID-19 negative test report mandatory for passengers arriving from countries with a high number of cases, the country's health minister said during an interview with broadcaster NewsX on Friday.

"In the next one week, selected countries will be identified where the caseload is higher today," minister Mansukh Mandaviya said. "People from there who come to India will have to upload their (COVID-19) RT-PCR reports and only then come."

The passengers will have to upload their reports on a government website and undergo thermal screening upon landing, Mandaviya said.

India, which has reported the second highest number of confirmed COVID cases in the world till date, will start randomly testing 2% of international passengers arriving at its airports for COVID-19, Mandaviya told the parliament on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the country's government asked the Indian states to look out for any new variants of the virus and urged people to wear masks in crowded areas, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases in China and other parts of the globe.

(Reporting by Sakshi Dayal; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)