NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has terminated the provision of one-week mandatory institutional quarantine for UK returnees who test negative for COVID-19, an official order has said.
The decision was taken by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) after it reviewed the situation.
During the review, low COVID-19 positivity among UK returnees was pointed out.
In an earlier order this month, the DDMA had directed for mandatory seven days institutional quarantine followed by week-long home isolation even for those passengers from UK who tested negative for COVID-19.
The decision was taken in view of resumption of limited flights to India from UK where a mutant of coronavirus with increased transmissibility was detected.
An order issued on Friday by Vijay Dev, chief secretary and chairperson of DDMA's executive committee, said, "The situation has now been reviewed and considering low positivity rate of UK returnees, it has been decided that the measure of compulsory institutional quarantine of travellers tested negative many not be required furthermore..." Delhi government may align with Centre's SOP in this regard, stated the order.
The passengers returning from UK and found negative for COVID-19 will require to be in 14 days of home isolation as per the Central government SOP.
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Several passengers returning from UK tested positive in RTPCR tests conducted at IGI airport here and were admitted to special isolation facility at LNJP hospital.
The DDMA has ordered strict surveillance on people who test negative at the airport and are then in home quarantine.
It has asked district authorities carry out COVID-19 tests on people who develop coronavirus-like symptoms during the home isolation.
In case a person tests positive, an extensive contact tracing also follows, it said.
Many passengers who returned from the UK between November 25 to December 22, when the government banned the flights to the country, were found positive during door to door testing undertaken by district surveillance teams in Delhi.
All the UK returnees who tested positive for COVID-19 were put through genome sequencing to determine if they were infected with the UK variant of the virus.
The order further instructed the concerned authorities to ensure strict surveillance of UK returnees who tested negative for the virus and were undergoing home isolation.