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International flights update: QR code on COVID RT-PCR report a must for flyers from India starting May 22

The countries that have banned passengers from India include United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, UAE, Kuwait, Indonesia, Netherlands and Australia.

May 14, 2021 / 06:13 PM IST
Air India | Representative image

Air India | Representative image

All the international passengers boarding flights from India need to mandatorily ensure that they are carrying a negative RT-PCR report as per the requirement of their destination country, with a QR code linking to the original report from May 22 onwards.

"Effective 22nd May 2021, passengers boarding international flights from India should ensure that the test result has a QR code linking to the original report. This is applicable only to those passengers who are required to carry a negative RT-PCR test report as per the guidelines/requirements issued by the destination country," the Air India Express statement said.

Air India to operate flights connecting London to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru from May 16


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The Embassy of the Netherlands in India on May 14 announced that the ban on passenger flights from India has been extended until June 1, 2021. Earlier on April 26, the European country had imposed a temporary ban on all passenger flights arriving from India, citing COVID-19 cases surge.

Saurav Mukherjee

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