India orders seven-day mandatory home quarantine for all international arrivals

India’s Federal health ministry on Friday said all international passengers arriving in the country would have to undergo mandatory seven-day home quarantine starting from Jan. 11.

The order was issued in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in India driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

“All travellers (including those two per cent selected for random testing on arrival and found negative) are to undergo home quarantine for seven days and shall undertake RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival in India.

“They should upload results of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) test done on the eighth day on the Air Suvidha (civil aviation) portal, which will be monitored by the respective state governments,’’ said the directive.

According to the directive, if the COVID-19 test results come negative, passengers will be advised to self-monitor their health for the next seven days.

However, if found positive, their samples would be further sent for genomic testing at the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium laboratory network.

“They shall be managed at isolation facility and treated as per the existing standard protocol,’’ the guidelines said.

It said passengers seated near them and cabin crew would be treated as contacts.

The new rules say that all passengers will now have to submit self-declaration forms and negative RT-PCR reports on the online Air Suvidha portal before their journey.

They also have to pre-book a COVID-19 test, which will be done on arrival and thermal screening will be carried out on all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport.

“The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility.

“If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed in accordance with relevant protocols,’’ said the order.

Travellers coming from at-risk countries will have to submit samples for COVID-19 testing at the point of arrival.

They will also be required to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight, the directive said.

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