Over 30 countries have instituted fresh travel guidelines for foreign visitors in response to the emergence of a Covid variant as infectious as Omicron. Many states and Union Territories in India have also tightened travel rules for both domestic and international flyers. Amid growing concerns, strict screenings for those travelling from “at-risk” countries have been mandated.
Ladakh is gearing to meet the challenge by strengthening surveillance and quarantine facilities. Nobody has so far been infected with Omicron here so far but to detect variants of Covid-19, Ladakh plans to set up its own genome sequencing machine soon.
The administration of Ladakh has issued instructions to conduct tests of all foreign travellers entering the Union Territory.
Tashi Gyalson, chairman of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Counci (LAHDC), discussed in detail a multi-pronged strategy in a comprehensive meeting to defeat the new variant of the deadly virus and review the public health preparedness in the district. Here are the revised guidelines issued by the UT for arriving flyers:
-Passengers arriving in Ladakh by air must carry a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 96 hours before the journey.
-Travellers not carrying a valid Covid-19 test report must mandatorily undergo a test. As per standard protocol of administration, they shall be placed in home or institution quarantine.
-Incoming passengers who are declared suspects in the Aarogya Setu app will be in home quarantine for two weeks. If any symptoms are detected, the district surveillance officer must be informed immediately.
-Mandatory thermal screening for all passengers
-Travellers reported with severe Covid-19 symptoms will be placed in isolation along with their contacts by the District Administration
-Those who have been inoculated with both vaccine doses and two weeks have \elapsed since the second dose and also show no clinical symptoms, are exempted from an RT-PCR Test report.