Iraqi passengers must be retested for COVID-19: health minister

May 25, 2021 - 17:6

TEHRAN – Considering fake negative COVID-19 test certificates of Iraqi passengers, Health Minister Saeed Namaki emphasized the need for retesting all the passengers at land, sea, and air borders.

As some Iraqi passengers have violated travel checks by showing fake test certificates, and after retesting, they tested positive, so that all should be tested at the borders despite having a certificate, Namaki explained, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

“Therefore, all previous instructions on allowing the passengers with a negative test result to enter the country are rejected, and all entry points from land, sea, and air borders must retest the travelers.”

Over 318,000 passengers tested at border points

Some 318,859 passengers have so far been screened for coronavirus by thermal tests at the country's official borders since March 10, Mehdi Valipour, head of Relief and Rescue Organization affiliated to the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), has stated.

During the aforesaid period, IRCS forces have conducted 16,368 PCR tests and 43,386 rapid tests, he said, IRNA reported.

He went on to lament that some 62 individuals, who tested positive, have so far been temporarily quarantined, under a plan to rapidly identify suspected cases of coronavirus and prevent the spread of new UK strain.

Some 471 members of the IRCS cooperate for carrying out the plan in 16 provinces across the country, Valipour concluded.

With the cooperation of ministries of health and transport, a plan is being implemented with the goal of rapidly identifying and testing incoming passengers and keeping them in quarantine facilities, if necessary.

Thirty border checkpoints have been selected, including 18 land borders, nine air borders, and three sea borders, all incoming passengers will be tested and referred to the quarantine facilities in case of necessity.

Around 8,000 individuals enter the country via borders on a daily basis.

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