Tuesday, February 23, 2021

From today, some flyers to be tested at airport and after 1 week

Gurgaon: Screenings and surveillance are back, as are home quarantine rules for flyers.

Beginning Tuesday, passengers returning to Gurgaon and other Haryana districts from countries such as the UK, Brazil, South Africa – where the mutated strains of the novel coronavirus have emerged – as well as European countries and West Asia will have to undergo a compulsory RT(PCR) test at the airport upon arrival. Those who test positive will be admitted to Covid care centres while others will have to strictly home quarantine for seven days, after which the health department will conduct another RT-PCR test.

Earlier, fliers from these countries had to produce a Covid-negative report, not older than 72 hours, before departure. The SOPs for all states were issued by the Union health ministry on February 17 in the wake of a rise in new Covid cases in other countries and some parts of India, including Haryana.

“We already have a team that monitors and carries out tests of passengers after seven days. We will monitor them for another seven days after the test results. We will get a list from the state government. Passengers whose results are negative at the airport will have to stay in home quarantine for seven days. We expect them to be socially responsible and take another test after seven days, for their own benefit and for the safety of others,” Gurgaon chief medical officer Virender Yadav said, adding travellers who test positive will be isolated in line with existing guidelines.

So far, Gurgaon has sent 36 samples for genome sequencing to the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in Delhi. “We have been selecting random samples, about 5%, of those who have tested positive after flying in. Of the 36 samples sent to Delhi, we have received only one report so far,” said Dr Yadav.

Dr Piyush Goel, senior consultant, pulmonary and critical care, Columbia Asia Hospital, said mutation in a virus is a natural development that helps it survive and reproduce.

23/02/21 Times of India

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