Kerala announces 7-day home quarantine for international passengers - GulfToday

Kerala announces 7-day home quarantine for international passengers


Photo used for illustrative purpose.

Ashraf Padanna, Correspondent  

Kerala will ensure strict home quarantine for all international passengers for a week amid the spread of Omicron, the more infectious coronavirus.

“We are following the instructions received from the federal government not to lower our guard against the new variant,” Kerala Health Minister Veena George said. “We have stepped up surveillance at the airports. We are doing PCR tests on all passengers including those who had undergone the test before boarding the plane.”

The state reported India’s first case of COVID-19 when a medical student from Wuhan, the Chinese epicentre of the virus, tested positive on Jan.30 last year.

Kerala still remains the most-affected state accounting for nearly half of India’s active caseload and the second highest deaths since the outbreak after Maharashtra.

“Currently, there is no reason for concern but everyone should strictly follow the COVID-19 guidelines,” the minister said. “Everyone should use masks and sanitisers and maintain social distance. Those who have not yet been vaccinated should get the jab at the earliest.”

All passengers arriving in India must undergo an RT-PCR test within 72 hours and upload it on the digital platform for self-declaration, Air Suvidha.

Passengers from countries listed in the federal guidelines are closely monitored and they have to undergo the test at the airports again. More test counters are being set up at all airports and the passengers are required to test again after seven days of quarantine.

“Suspected samples from these countries will be sent for testing for the mutant strain,” George said. “Those coming from the countries mentioned in the central guidelines would be closely monitored.”

The state government has clarified that the mandatory RT-PCR test is not essential for children going to Sabarimala temple.

A statement said parents and adults accompanying them shall ensure that they carry soaps, sanitisers and masks and adhere to social distancing norms.

“The government is pleased to clarify that children are allowed to go on Sabarimala pilgrimage without the RT-PCR test,” it said.

Hundreds of devotees have been trekking to offer prayers at the hill shrine since it was opened on Nov.16 for the two-month-long annual pilgrimage.

Two Indians returning from South Africa to neighbouring Karnataka state have tested positive for COVID-19 and their samples are being tested to determine the variant.

Related articles