The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday that India’s decision to re-introduce coronavirus testing for international passengers from 6 countries is “disappointing and a step backwards” as the current situation is different from when the pandemic began three years ago.
The IATA is a trade association that represents approximately 290 airlines, accounting for 82% of global air traffic. It works to shape industry standards and practises while also assisting its member airlines through a variety of programmes and services.
It is worth noting here that in response to an increase in coronavirus cases in various parts of the world, the Indian government has decided to require a negative Covid report for passengers arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand beginning January 1.
Furthermore, the airport authorities have also begun random testing of 2% of passengers arriving on each international flight last week.
Philip Goh, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific, in a statement said;
“India’s decision to reintroduce Covid-19 testing is disappointing and a step backwards. We are in a different situation from when Covid-19 started about three years ago. Medical treatments are available. Vaccination levels are high. Governments need to respond based on science and facts.”
Philip also stated the last three years of experience have shown that travel restrictions or testing requirements are ineffective.
“It is disappointing that governments have not learned this lesson and are reimposing restrictions. Testing requirements have a negative impact on travel as people tend to avoid being tested,” he said.
According to official data released on Thursday, the daily coronavirus positivity rate in India was 0.11 per cent, with a weekly positivity rate of 0.17 per cent.