7-day home quarantine must for all from abroad

They will have to undergo RT-PCR on 8th day

All international air passengers arriving in the State will have to undergo a mandatory seven-day home quarantine and an RT-PCR test on the eight day, Health Minister Veena George has said. This was as per the new guidelines issued by the Centre, she said here on Friday.

Home quarantine guidelines were also being tightened according to the Centre’s directives, Ms. George said.

Of the 280 Omicron cases of COVID-19 detected in the State so far, 186 were passengers from “low risk” nations, 64 from “high risk” nations and 30 were contacts of primary cases. Earlier, those flying into the State from low-risk nations were only required to undergo self observation rather than mandatory quarantine. But with more Omicron cases detected in this category of travellers, the State too had placed the demand that mandatory home quarantine be advised for all travellers.

All air travellers from “high-risk” nations will have to undergo RT-PCR at the airport and even if they test negative, they should go on home quarantine for seven days, followed by another RT-PCR test on the eighth day. If negative, they have to go on self observation for seven more days.

The samples of those who test COVID-positive will be sent for genomic sequencing and the person will go into isolation at a hospital. They will be given treatment as per the standard treatment protocol and discharged according to the treating doctor’s advice.

Low-risk countries

While the Centre has directed that 2% of the samples of travellers from low-risk nations be tested randomly for COVID-19 on arrival, Kerala is testing 20% of the samples. Those who are negative will go on seven-day home quarantine now, followed by RT-PCR on eighth day. If negative they will be on self observation for another seven days. The samples which test positive will be sent for genomic sequencing.

Repeat COVID-19 testing will be done if any individual displays any symptoms while under quarantine or self-observation.

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