Air India issues Covid norms for flyers from UAE  


The recommendation advises that all visitors should preferably be completely immunized as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against Covid-19 in their country..reports Asian Lite News

Air India Express has issued guidelines for the maintenance of Covid-appropriate behaviour by travellers travelling from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to India.

The recommendation advises that all visitors should preferably be completely immunized as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against Covid-19 in their country. Other precautions to take when travelling include the use of masks and physical distancing. “All guests should preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their country. All guests should preferably use masks and follow physical distancing on flights/travel and at all points of entry,” the official Twitter handle of Air India Express tweeted.

The Air India Express, headquartered in Kochi, Kerala is notably, India’s first international budget carrier, offering connectivity to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It is run by Air India Express Limited, a fully-owned division of Air India, the national carrier of India.

However, the guidelines stated that Post-arrival random testing is not required for children under the age of 12.

The children are only required to undergo testing and get treatment in accordance with the protocol if they are discovered to be symptomatic for COVID-19 upon arrival or during the time of self-monitoring.

“Children under 12 years of age are exempted from post-arrival random testing. However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during the period of self-monitoring, they shall undergo testing and be treated as per the protocol,” the advisory by Air India Express read.

The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Thursday said that at least two per cent of the arriving passengers on international flights to the country will have to undergo random sampling as part of a precautionary measure for Covid-19.

The MoCA in an official statement said that the passengers are to be identified by the airline and will be allowed to leave the airport after sample collection. Those being tested positive for the infection will be isolated and their samples will be sent for genome sequencing.

“This arrangement should come into practice with effect from 10:00 am on December 24,” as per the statement from MoCA .

Last week Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Lok Sabha said that the government has started random RT-PCR sampling among the passengers arriving at International airports in the country amid the recent surge of Coronavirus infection in various countries including China, Japan, South Korea, France, and the United States.

Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also issued ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’ in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and said that the guidelines will be reviewed and revised from time to time.

Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid vaccine priced at Rs 800

Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech’s intranasal vaccine for Covid-19, the first in the world, is scheduled to be introduced in the country as a booster dose shortly.

The vaccine, iNCOVACC (BBV154), is now available on CoWin, and priced at Rs 800 for private markets and Rs 325 for supplies to the Centre and state governments, the Hyderabad-based company said.

Last last month, Bharat Biotech received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) for the use of heterologous booster doses of iNCOVACC.

It is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion-stabilised SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

This vaccine candidate was evaluated in phases I, II and III clinical trials with successful results, the company said.

iNCOVACC has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops. The nasal delivery system has been designed and developed to be cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries, it added.

“We have achieved the goals we set for ourselves during this pandemic. We have developed COVAXIN and iNCOVACC, two Covid vaccines from two different platforms, with two different delivery systems. The vectored intranasal delivery platform gives us the capability for rapid product development, scale-up, easy and painless immunization during public health emergencies and pandemics,” said Bharat Biotech Executive Chairman Dr. Krishna Ella.

He thanked the Ministry of Health, CDSCO, Dept of Biotechnology, Govt of India, Technology Development Board, and Washington University, St Louis, for their support and guidance.

As a needle-less vaccination, Bharat Biotech’s iNCOVACC will be India’s first such booster dose.

India will now have more options when it comes to third doses or precautionary doses.

iNCOVACC’s manufacturing platform has the double benefit of enabling faster development of variant-specific vaccines and easy nasal delivery that enables mass immunization to protect from emerging variants of concern, the vaccine maker said.

Clinical trials were conducted to evaluate iNCOVACC as a primary dose schedule, and as heterologous booster dose for subjects who have previously received two doses of the two commonly administered COVID vaccines in India.

iNCOVACC was developed in partnership with Washington University, St. Louis, which had designed and developed the recombinant adenoviral vectored construct and evaluated in preclinical studies for efficacy.

Product development related to preclinical safety evaluation, large-scale manufacturing scale-up, formulation and delivery device development, including human clinical trials were conducted by Bharat Biotech.

Product development and clinical trials were funded in part by the Government of India, through the Department of Biotechnology’s, Covid Suraksha Program.

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