The Delhi government Friday announced that inbound passengers from the United Kingdom will have to spend a week at institutional quarantine centres, essentially designated hotels, even if they test negative after arrival in the city.
The decision comes a day after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the Centre to keep flight services between India and the United Kingdom suspended till January 31 to prevent the transmission of the new variant of the coronavirus.
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“Those who are found negative shall be kept in compulsory institutional quarantine for a period of seven days followed by seven days of home quarantine,” an order issued by Chief Secretary Vijay Dev stated.
The SOP issued by the Centre had said that those found negative at the airport would be advised home quarantine for two weeks.
Flights were initially suspended until December 31, and the suspension was then extended until January 7. According to the SOP, all incoming passengers have to submit self-declaration forms and get themselves tested through the RT-PCR method at least 72 hours before their scheduled travel.
“Passengers testing positive shall be isolated in an institutional facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the respective state health authorities. They will earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment, and take necessary action to send the positive samples to Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Labs,” the SOP states.
The Centre had on January 1 announced a graded resumption of resumption of flights on the India-UK route from January 8. There will be 15 flights per week, as against over 60 during usual times, on this route for the first two weeks after resumption, it had said, while also outlining a fresh Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
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