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With negative Covid-19 test result, travellers to India can avoid paid quarantine

Sahim Salim /Dubai
Filed on August 3, 2020 | Last updated on August 3, 2020 at 06.10 am
negative, Covid-19, test result, travellers, India, avoid, paid quarantine

(Photo by Juidin Bernarrd/Khaleej Times)

The revised guidelines will come into effect from August 8.

Travellers to India may seek exemption from a mandatory seven-day institutional quarantine by submitting a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test report on arrival. According to revised guidelines issued by India's Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on Sunday, the test should have been conducted no more than 96 hours before undertaking the journey.

The revised guidelines will come into effect from August 8. Passengers with the negative Covid-19 test results need to home-quarantine for 14 days.

"The test report should be uploaded on the portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) for consideration. Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise. The test report could also be produced upon arrival at the point of entry airport in India," the ministry said in a document that specified the revised guidelines.

The 14-day home quarantine option is also available for passengers with "compelling reasons/cases of human distress" such as pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parent(s) with children of the age of 10 years or below.

On arrival at an Indian airport, passengers exempted from institutional quarantine will need to show the approval for the same to the respective state counters on their cell phones.

The Indian government has allowed states to develop their own protocol "with regards to quarantine and isolation as per their assessment post arrival of passengers".

Other passengers

Passengers who have not sought for exemption from paid quarantine "shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities to be arranged by the respective State/UT (Union Territory) Governments", the document stated.

"These passengers shall be kept under institutional quarantine for a minimum period of seven days. They shall be tested as per ICMR protocol. If they test positive, they shall be assessed clinically. If they are assessed as asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic/very mild cases, they will be allowed home isolation or isolated in the Covid Care Centre (both public & private facilities) as appropriate. Those having mild/moderate/severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated Covid health facilities and managed accordingly," the document said.

If found negative, travellers shall be advised to further isolate themselves at home and "self-monitor their health for seven days". "In case any symptoms develop, they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call centre (1075)."

India has extended the suspension of all international passenger flights until August 31. The government has approved more than 2,500 repatriation flights by foreign carriers to fly stranded passengers to and from India during this period.

Key points to remember if you are travelling to India

>All travellers should submit self-declaration form on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel.

>They should also give an undertaking on the portal that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days - seven days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by seven days isolation at home with "self-monitoring of health".

>Travellers wishing to seek exemption from paid quarantine need to apply on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before boarding. The decision taken by the government as communicated on the online portal will be final.

> All passengers shall be advised to download contact tracing app Arogya Setu on their mobile devices.

>Only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.

Taking a PCR test in the UAE

>Cost: Dh370

The cost would be covered by most insurance companies if the person has a medical indication like symptoms, exposure or travel history.

>Where: Drive-through Covid-19 screening centres. Residents can also take the test at private hospitals from where samples are collected and sent to government hospitals. The cost in such cases is around Dh500.

>Time taken for results: 24 to 48 hours.

>Tests at home: For an additional fee, residents can opt for their samples to be collected from their homes.

>Tests are free for: Those suspected to have contracted the virus and for vulnerable groups.

(As said by Dr Johny Pappachan Avookkaran, Specialist - Internal Medicine, Aster Hospital, Al Qusais)

sahim@khaleejtimes.com 


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