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Screening at departure to Arogya Setu: Health Ministry issues fresh guidelines for domestic travel

Asymptomatic passengers should be permitted to travel after being asked to self-monitor for 14 days, the ministry said.

Published: 24th May 2020 03:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2020 03:35 PM   |  A+A-

Passenger comes out of Vijayawada International Airport terminal who got down from flight came from London on Wednesday. (Photo | Prashant Madugala/EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: International travelers arriving in India will have to undergo 14-day quranatine mandatorily while the qurantine protocols for domestic travelers can be decided by the states in which they arrive, the Centre said on Sunday.

In its guidelines for international travelers, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that out of the 14 days, passengers arriving in India will have to undergo 7 days of institutional quarantine at their own cost followed by 7 days of home isolation. 

In cases of human distress, serious illness, death in the family, children below 10 years or pregnancy, home quarantine of 14 days may be permitted, said the guideline adding that Aarogya Setu app will be mandatory during this period.

The same rules apply for those arriving through land borders as well.

While at the time of boarding the flight or ship, only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board after the thermal screening, the passengers found to be symptomatic during screening upon arrival will be isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol.

The rest, quarantined, institutionally, will also have to undergo RTPCR test for COVID 19 as per country’s testing protocol and if found positive, depending on the clinical severity, they can be moved to Covid care centres, health centers or hospitals, the guidelines added.

The guidelines for domestic travelers said that only asymptomatic people will be allowed to travel on the advise that will self-monitor their health for 14 days and inform district health authorities in case they develop any infection symptom.

Dos and Don'ts shall be provided along with tickets to travellers by agencies concerned, said the ministry's guidelines for domestic travel (air/train/inter-state bus travel).

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

The guidelines come after the Indian Railways last week issued a list of 100 pairs of trains that it will operate from June 1, putting in operation popular trains such as Durontos, Sampark Krantis, Jan Shatabdis and Poorva Express.

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Also, after a two-month hiatus, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has announced resumption of domestic flights from May 25.

In its guidelines for domestic travel, the health ministry said suitable announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports, railway stations and bus terminals as well as in flights, trains and buses.

  • The states/UTs shall ensure that all passengers undergo thermal screening at the point of departure and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the flight, train or bus.
  • During boarding and travel, all passengers shall use face covers or masks and will also follow hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and maintain environmental hygiene, the ministry said in its guidelines.
  • At airports, railway stations and bus terminals, required measures to ensure social distancing shall be taken, the guidelines said.
  • Airports, railway stations and bus terminals should be regularly sanitised or disinfected and the availability of soaps and sanitisers shall be ensured, the health ministry said.
  • Thermal screening at exit point shall be arranged and asymptomatic passengers will be permitted to go with the advice that they shall self-monitor their health for 14 days, the guidelines said.

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

Those found symptomatic will be isolated and taken to the nearest health facility and will be assessed for clinical severity at the health facility, the guidelines said.

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

Those having mild symptoms will be given the option of home isolation or isolated in the COVID Care Centre (both public & private facilities) as appropriate and tested as per ICMR protocol, they said.

"If positive, they will continue in COVID Care Centre and will be managed as per clinical protocol.

If negative, the passenger may be allowed to go home, isolate himself/herself and self-monitor his/her health for further 7 days," the health ministry said.

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

The ministry said that states can also develop their own protocol with regards to quarantine and isolation as per their assessment.

(With PTI inputs)

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