France 'to launch on-the-spot COVID-19 tests for travellers from India, 15 other countries'
Prime Minister Jean Castex said the tests would be for "French citizens who live in these countries or citizens of these countries with an established residence in France". Any travellers testing positive will have to spend 14 days in isolation.
Travellers arriving in France from countries including India, the US and Brazil -- where COVID-19 is widely circulating will be subjected to on-the-spot tests, French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said. He announced the new measures during a visit to Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, according to a media report.
The move comes as the number of new infections in France starts to climb again. The Health Ministry said there were now more than 1,000 new cases each day in hospitals.
The new rules apply to people arriving from 16 countries where the virus continues to spread. These are the US, Brazil, India, Algeria, Bahrain, Israel, South Africa, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Turkey and Madagascar. France -- and the European Union -- do not allow general travel to and from these countries, the BBC reported.
Castex said the tests would be for "French citizens who live in these countries or citizens of these countries with an established residence in France". Any travellers testing positive will have to spend 14 days in isolation.
This comes as the World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Friday, with the total rising by 284,196 in 24 hours. Deaths rose by 9,753, the biggest one-day increase since a record high of 9,797 deaths on April 30.
The previous WHO record for new cases was 259,848 on July 18. Deaths have averaged 5,000 a day in July, up from an average of 4,600 a day in June.
The WHO reported 69,641 new cases in the US, 67,860 in Brazil, 49,310 in India and 13,104 in South Africa. The largest increases in new deaths were 3,876 in Peru, 1,284 in Brazil, 1,074 in the US, 790 in Mexico and 740 in India.
India on July 17 became the third country in the world to record more than 1 million cases of the new coronavirus, behind only the US and Brazil. Epidemiologists say India is still likely months from hitting its peak.
Cases in Brazil crossed the 2 million mark on July 16, doubling in less than a month as the country adds nearly 40,000 new cases a day.
The US, which leads the world with over 4 million cases, has also tried to curb the outbreak at the state and local level, with only limited success.