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India to require COVID test for arrivals from China, four other Asian countries

A healthcare worker collects a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test swab sample from a woman at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - People arriving in India from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand will have to show a negative COVID-19 test from Sunday, India's health minister said.

Travellers from those countries would have to upload their test result on an India government website before their departure, the minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

"This is being done in view of the evolving COVID-19 situation across the world, particularly in the aforesaid countries," the health ministry said in a statement, adding that the test should be taken within 72 hours of travel to India.

The new requirement for a COVID test would be in addition to the random tests on 2% of all international passengers arriving in India.

India joins the United States, Japan, Italy and Taiwan in imposing mandatory COVID tests for travellers from China, amid a COVID surge there after authorities relaxed strict "zero-COVID" rules.

Top health officials from the European Union were holding talks on Thursday to try to coordinate very different views on how to respond to China's decision to lift its COVID-19 restrictions amid a wave of infections there.

(Reporting by Shivam Patel; editing by Sudipto Ganguly, Robert Birsel)