Udayavni Special

Travellers shall give 14-day quarantine undertaking before boarding: Health min on intl arrivals

Team Udayavani, May 24, 2020, 4:30 PM IST

New Delhi: The Health Ministry on Sunday issued guidelines for international arrivals, saying that before boarding, all travellers shall give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

The guidelines come a day after Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said India will try to restart a good percentage of international passenger flights before August.

All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25. While domestic flights will resume from Monday, international flights remain suspended.

Before boarding, all travellers shall give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days — 7 days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by 7 days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health, the guidelines said.

Only for exceptional and compelling reasons such as cases of human distress, pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parent(s) accompanied by children below 10 years, as assessed by the receiving states, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days, they said.

Use of Aarogya Setu application shall be mandatory in such cases, the guidelines said.

Dos and Don’ts shall be provided along with the ticket to travellers by the agencies concerned, they said.

All passengers shall be advised to download Arogya Setu application on their mobile devices, the guidelines said.

At the time of boarding the flight or ship, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening, the health ministry said.

Passengers arriving through the land borders will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, and only those who are asymptomatic will be enabled to cross the border into India, it said.

Self-declaration form in duplicate shall be filled by the person in the flight or ship and a copy of the same will be given to health and immigration officials present at the airport, seaport or landport, the guidelines said.

The form may also be made available on Aarogya Setu application, they said.

Suitable precautionary measures such as environmental sanitation and disinfection shall be ensured at the airports as well as within flights, the health ministry said.

During boarding and at airports, all possible measures to ensure social distancing should be ensured, it said.

Suitable announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports/port and in flights/ships and during transit, the guidelines said.

While on board the flight or ship, required precautions such as wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc. are to be observed by airline or ship staff, crew and all passengers, they said.

On arrival, thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all passengers by health officials present at the airport/ seaport/landport, the guidelines said.

Passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocol, they said.

The remaining passengers shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities, to be arranged by respective State/UT governments, the guidelines said.

These passengers shall be kept under institutional quarantine for a minimum period of 7 days, they said.

They shall be tested as per ICMR protocol available, the guidelines said, adding that if they test positive, they shall be assessed clinically.

If they are assessed as mild cases, they will be allowed home isolation or isolated in the COVID Care Centre (both public & private facilities) as appropriate, the guidelines said.

Those having moderate or severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated COVID health facilities and managed accordingly, the health ministry said.

If found negative, they shall be advised to further isolate themselves at home and self-monitor their health for 7 days, it said.

In case, any symptoms develop they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call centre (1075), the guidelines said.

States can also develop their own protocol with regards to quarantine and isolation as per their assessment, they said.

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