Covid-19 in India: Kerala announces 7-day home quarantine for international arrivals

So far, the state has recorded 280 cases of the Omicron variant



by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Fri 7 Jan 2022, 3:25 PM

Last updated: Sat 8 Jan 2022, 11:20 AM

All international passengers arriving in the South Indian state of Kerala, including those from the UAE, must undergo mandatory seven-day home quarantine upon arrival. Following this, they would have to undergo an RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival.

State Health Minister Veena George announced Friday that Kerala will be following protocols set by the Central Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The Ministry updated rules for India-bound travellers in view of reporting in view of the rising prevalence of the Omicron variant.

The new standard operating procedure shall be made effective from January 11 onwards.

George confirmed a total of 280 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in Kerala. A total of 186 travellers carrying the infection arrived from ‘low-risk’ countries and 64 arrived from high-risk countries, explained the Minister. About 30 people were infected through close contacts, she said.

In November 2021, India classified its international arrivals into two categories - Travellers coming from ‘at risk countries’, and travellers from countries ‘excluding those enlisted as countries at risk’. In the revised protocols, this classification continues to be maintained. The UAE is not on India's list of at-risk nations.

Post and pre-travel RT-PCR tests

George also said all arrivals will be tested on the basis of their port of departure. All passengers arriving from high-risk countries would be tested. About 20 per cent of randomly selected passengers on any given flight, arriving from low-risk countries, would have to undergo testing at the airport.

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All travellers, including the two per cent who were selected for random testing on arrival and were found negative, would have to undergo home quarantine for seven days and shall undertake RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival in India.

Samples of those who turn positive for Covid-19 would be sent for genetic testing. “They will be subject to isolation and patients would be treated according to standard protocols,” said a press release from the Kerala State Ministry of Health.


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