Amid concerns over the new coronavirus strain, all passengers from the UK who test positive for COVID-19 will be kept under institutional quarantine, a Maharashtra government official said on Wednesday. This is as per the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Centre, he said.
The other passengers, who test negative, will be home quarantined along with daily updates by district surveillance officers, the official said. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday issued SOPs for epidemiological surveillance and response for the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
The SOPs are for all passengers who returned to India from the UK between November 25 and December 23. Passengers testing positive for COVID-19 through RT-CR will be again tested for detection of the new virus strain.
If the passenger's test is found consistent with the new strain, then such a passenger will be isolated from other COVID-19 positive patients for further treatment. Such a patient will undergo COVID-19 test again after 14 days, as per the SOPs.
International travellers are also asked to provide their travel history of past 14 days and fill up the self- declaration form to be screened for COVID-19 on the 'Air Suvidha' portal. The Bureau of Immigration has been asked to share the data of all passengers who arrived in India from November 25 to December 23 with all the states.
The guidelines also mentioned that adequate arrangements for passengers waiting for their RT-PCR test results should be made at airports with the help of airport authorities and all the mandatory norms of social distancing are to be followed. The central government is also going to share a list of passengers who arrived from the UK and tested negative for COVID-19.
These passengers have been advised home isolation and tests should be carried out as per the ICMR guidelines. District surveillance officers will be in contact with the passengers who arrived from November 25 to December 8 to seek their health updates.
There could be daily calls from the surveillance officers, according to the SOPs.