Asian nations struggle to contain Covid-19

SINGAPORE: Covid-19 tests are now required for travellers arriving in India from the UK, while other Asian countries are tightening measures to bring Covid-19 outbreaks under control.

The latest travel update confirms that travellers arriving at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport from the United Kingdom must take a Covid-19 RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure and then again on arrival at Delhi Airport.

Authorities say the stricter measure on testing is in place to curb a new strain of the virus present in the UK.

Passengers must upload the negative test result to the airport’s ‘Air Suvidha Portal’ before departure, and once they arrive in Delhi airport, they must undergo a second test at the cost of INR3400 (USD46). Travellers must also quarantine for 14 days.


Meanwhile, Japan has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba. Restaurants and bars must close at 2000, and residents are warned to limit unnecessary outings. Exact measures may vary between regions.


A Covid-19 outbreak triggers lockdowns in  Shijiazhuang and Xingtai in Hebei province China, until 14 January. The lockdown in Hebei province’s Shijiazhuang and Xingtai cities covers a week starting on 8 January in order to prevent further outbreaks of Covid-19. Residents are banned from leaving the cities except for emergencies, and flights and overland public transport are suspended. The province recorded 127 new COVID-19 cases and 183 asymptomatic infections last week.


Most provinces in Thailand are now imposing entry restrictions on travellers from red zones provinces and cities with checks at airports, on major highways and at bus stations. Travellers are being told to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in some provinces and also undergo PCR testing.

The screening and self-isolation rule (14-days) applies to travellers resident in eight red-zone provinces who travel to provinces coded yellow or low risk.

The red zones are:
1.Bangkok (Nong Khaem, Bang Phlat, Bang Khae, Bang Khun Thian Districts);
2. Samut Sakhon;
3. Rayong;
4. Chonburi;
5. Chanthaburi;
6. Samut Prakan;
7. Nonthaburi;
8. Nakhon Pathom.

State Railways of Thailand will partially suspend rail services from 13 January to 28 February. At least 30 ‘regular’ train routes will be suspended between Bangkok and the northern, northeastern and southern areas. Sightseeing trains from Hua Lamphong Station were suspended at the weekend.

Thailand reported 245 new cases on Sunday, raising the total to 10,298 cases since the count started last March. There have been 67 deaths.