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Centre makes self-declaration on Air Suvidha portal mandatory for all international passengers

To ensure prevention of Omicron variant of the COVID-19 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.

December 07, 2021 / 07:39 PM IST
Representative image (Source: Reuters)

Representative image (Source: Reuters)

To ensure the smooth passage of international travellers arriving in India, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on December 7 announced that it has mandated contactless self-declaration on the Air Suvidha portal.

To ensure the necessary prevention of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 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.

All applications from ‘at risk’ countries are marked with H and red band, and others are marked green for easier arrival segregation and processing. This list is dynamically updated to keep up with MOHFW updates.

The application also takes into account countries visited in the last 14 days to highlight ‘at risk’ applications. This field also has a multi-select drop-down option for standardisation.

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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 Air Suvidha portal that was launched in August 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak has now been strengthened to accommodate travel guidelines issued on November 30, 2021.

The digital portal developed by the MOCA aids passengers in providing their details of travel and final stay along with RTPCR, vaccination status, etc. Aside from providing hassle-free, queue-free, and convenient air travel to all international passengers arriving in India, it also helps state officials with contact tracing, the ministry said in a statement.

“The Air Suvidha portal has already assisted 2,51,210 passengers from December 1, 2021, to December 5, 2021, since the updating of the new travel guidelines on November 30, 2021. Furthermore, over one crore passengers have been benefitted from the Air Suvidha portal since its launch in August 2020,” it added.
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