Intensifying the surveillance against COVID, the State Health Department issued guidelines for international arrivals, mandating seven-day home quarantine for those coming from countries at risk – South Africa, China, New Zealand and Hong Kong – even if they test negative at the airport in the State.
Airlines should ensure availability of negative RT-PCR report before allowing passengers to board, while the flyers would have to fill up a self-declaration form (SDF) and upload the negative test report, the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare said in the order on Sunday.
Travellers coming from countries at risk who test negative should re-test on eighth day. If the person tests positive, the sample would be sent for genomic testing and the person would be admitted to isolation facility. The patient can be discharged at the discretion of doctors if the genomic testing is negative for the Omicron variant. If the individual tests positive, strict isolation and treatment protocol should be followed.
Five per cent of flyers from other countries would be chosen for random testing. They should self-monitor for 14 days if tested negative. If they develop symptoms during quarantine or self-health monitoring period or test positive on repeat testing, the report should be shared with the nearest health facility, or contact national (1075) or State helpline number.
Children aged under five are exempted from testing. But if found symptomatic for COVID, they should undergo testing. Nodal officers were appointed in Chennai/Chengalpattu, Tiruchy, Coimbatore and Madurai to implement the SOP.