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Vaccinated passengers may not need RT-PCR report for domestic travel, discussion by govt underway

The Times of India

The Central government is mulling over a mechanism to enable hassle-free domestic air travel and to do away with the mandatory RT-PCR report for those passengers who have received both jabs of a Covid-19 vaccine. "A joint team from several ministries and stakeholders, including the Health Department, are in discussion to take a final decision on allowing travelling by air without an RT-PCR test for those who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine," minister of civil aviation (MoCA) Hardeep Singh Puri told ANI. He added that this decision will not be taken alone by the MoCA, nodal agencies, including health experts who are working with the government will also contribute towards making a decision in the interests of passengers. At present, domestic passengers are mandatorily asked to produce negative RT-PCR report before travelling to some states, where active COVID-19 cases are still high. "Health is a state subject, and to ask passengers for a negative RT-PCR report before they enter a state is solely the right of that particular state," Puri added. Meanwhile, the concept of 'vaccine passport' for passengers travelling internationally is also being contemplated, to which India has raised objections and termed it as a 'discriminatory idea'. "Expressed India's concern and strong opposition to 'Vaccine Passport' at this juncture of the pandemic. With vaccine coverage as a percentage of population in developing countries is still low compared to developed countries, such an initiative could prove to be highly discriminatory," Union health minister Harsh Vardhan told at the meeting of G7 countries.

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