Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng told a news conference on Friday that the country has now been placed under category 2, down from category 1 countries, implying that travellers will now be required to come with the results of a negative PCR test done 72 hours before travel.
She noted that they will also be subjected to a mandatory PCR test upon arrival irrespective of their vaccination status.
Other countries in this category include the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.
This categorization, the minister says, is based on the presence of variants of concern in the specific country, the rate of transmission of the disease in that country, number of deaths and vaccination levels.
It’s on that same basis that India was put in Category one in late April where all planes to and from the country were grounded. The re-opening she says is based on a keen analysis of both the situation in-country and here.
As of today, 471 patients are admitted to hospitals across the country where 324 are in government hospitals, 123 in prison facilities whereas 24 are being treated in private facilities. However, the exact extent of transmission in the country is unknown. Aceng says they are embarking on a new rapid assessment survey to establish this.
She says this survey will also help them understand the uptake of vaccines in the community currently. Earlier, when the second survey was done, market vendors, police officers, and health workers were categorized as the riskiest populations as they found wide transmission rates in the community.