The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued the new list of SOPs which describe the activities to be undertaken at the point of entry and in the community for all International passengers who have travelled from or transited through UK in the past 4 weeks (from 25th November to 23rd December 2020).
All international travelers as described in the scope above will be required to declare as per existing procedure, their travel history (of past 14 days) and fill up the Self Declaration Form to be screened for COVID-19.
Action to be taken at airport: As per the new directives, the flights from UK stand suspended temporarily from 23rd December till 31st December 2020 or till further orders. All the passengers coming from UK during the intervening period from 21st to 23rd December 2020 shall be subjected to the following process:
Respective State governments shall ensure that all passengers travelling from or transiting through airports in UK and disembarking in India would be subjected to RT-PCR test on arrival. In case of a positive sample, it is recommended that spike gene-based RT-PCR test should also be performed by an appropriate laboratory.
Passengers testing positive shall be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the respective State Health Authorities. They would earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment. Necessary action to send the samples to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune or any other appropriate lab for genomic sequencing will be initiated at the facility level.
If the report of the sequencing is consistent with the current SARS-CoV-2 virus genome circulating in the country; the ongoing treatment protocol including home isolation/treatment at facility level as per case severity may be followed.
If the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of new variant of SARS-CoV-2 then the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit. While necessary treatment as per the existing protocol will be given, the patient shall be tested on 14th day, after having tested positive in the initial test. In case the sample is found positive on 14th day, further sample may be taken until his two consecutive samples taken 24 hours apart are tested negative.
Those who are found negative on testing with RT-PCR at the airport would be advised quarantine at home and followed up as detailed in Part-C.
The concerned airlines shall ensure that prior to check-in, the traveler is explained about this SOP. In-flight announcements must also be made explaining the relevant information to the passengers. Relevant information in this regard shall be prominently displayed in arrival area and waiting area of the airports.
Adequate arrangements for passengers waiting for their RT-PCR test results duly following effective isolation may also be made at the airports in conjunction with the airport authorities.
All the contacts (without any exception) of those travelers who arrived at various airports on 21st- 23rd December and tested positive would be subjected to institutional quarantine in separate quarantine centers and would be tested as per ICMR guidelines.
The list of travelers travelling between 21st -23rd December who are found RT-PCR negative at airport testing shall be shared with the respective States and they shall also be advised for quarantine at home and tested as per ICMR guidelines.