COVID Travel Update India: Latest COVID News Update to the Holiday Hotspots

India's holiday season joy is tempered by the arrival of the JN.1 variant in Kerala, igniting fears in neighboring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. India witnessed a slight rise in COVID-19 cases on Thursday, recording 594 new infections, mainly driven by the JN.1 variant's presence in Kerala. The active case count rose to 2,669, while six more deaths, three from Kerala, two from Karnataka, and one from Punjab, were reported.

Meanwhile, across Asia, countries like China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the European country of UK are cautiously reintroducing thermal scanners and masks due to rising JN.1 infections.

Covid travel Update

Countries which are Covid infected right now!

Indonesia

Indonesia is grappling with a 13% rise in COVID-19 cases compared to November, with Jakarta alone averaging 200 daily infections. The increase, potentially linked to the JN.1 variant, comes despite 90% of cases being asymptomatic or mild, and hospitals remaining under control. However, the Health Ministry, urging caution, has encouraged residents to take booster doses and reinstated thermal scanners at key entry points, likely for symptom detection.

Also Read: Indonesia Plans to Allow Visa-Free Entry to Indians

United Kingdom

If you are planning your year end trip to the UK from India, Covid’s new variant is something you need to pay attention to while traveling to the country. The highly transmissible JN.1 variant is fueling a rapid resurgence of COVID-19 in the UK. In England alone, positive cases climbed to 5,975 in the week ending December 9, a staggering 38.6% spike compared to the previous week. Similar increases are being reported across Wales and Scotland. Experts, including Professor Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser to UKHSA, warn this could be one of the most severe COVID waves since the initial vaccination rollout, due to JN.1's enhanced transmissibility and immune evasion capabilities. Hospitalizations are rising, although still below previous peaks. 

China 

On December 15, China detected seven cases of the concerning COVID subvariant JN.1, primarily through imported travelers. While Chinese authorities maintain the current prevalence is 'very low,' they warn of the potential for JN.1 to become dominant, citing concerns about further imported cases and its rapid spread in neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia. The government has ramped up surveillance and testing, particularly at border crossings. With the situation evolving, staying informed about updates and adhering to safety guidelines, including mask-wearing and social distancing, remain crucial for traveling to China from India this new year.

Malaysia

Malaysia finds itself navigating a surge in COVID-19 cases, with infections nearly doubling in just one week before the anticipated travel rush of Christmas and New Year. While the government has ruled out imposing a lockdown, it is emphasizing robust community tracing through its TRIIS system and actively encouraging public health measures.

Singapore

While People from neighboring countries are eagerly waiting to travel to Singapore for the coming new year and lined-up concerts of Cold play and Taylor Swift, a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the highly transmissible JN.1 variant, has tightened its grip. From December 3 to 9, 2023, the country saw a staggering 56,043 cases, and as of December 21, 2023, 65 new patients have been hospitalized. To curb the spread, strict travel guidelines are in place: wearing N95 masks at airports is mandatory, and travelers are urged to be extra cautious, buy travel insurance, and avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.

Also Read: Time to Wear Masks Again if you are traveling to Singapore from India!

Travelers are advised to keep updated with the covid guidelines to travel to other countries as well as to the covid infected Indian states. Happy Travel!

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