The changes in the quarantine policy relating to handling of passengers coming by air, rail and road is being welcomed by travellers. In fact, many passengers coming to Visakhapatnam by air have been demanding for some time that swab testing should be done at the airport itself.
Earlier, all the air passengers were being taken to the Sri Sitarama Kalyana Mandapam near Akkayyapalem Highway in RTC buses for swab testing involving a long, tedious process, which drew flak from passengers.
The new order issued by the State government a couple of days ago provides for random swab testing of 10% of domestic air passengers at the airport itself and sending them to home quarantine for 14 days. Those aged above 60 and below 10 would not be tested.
“The swab testing at the airport will begin on July 15 (Wednesday). All passengers will, however, have to be under home quarantine for 14 days,” Airport Director M. Raja Kishore told The Hindu.
Institutional quarantine continues to be compulsory for the passengers coming by flights from abroad. The mandatory quarantine period has now been made seven days for all countries uniformly. The tests would be conducted on the fifth and seventh day, and based on the result, the follow-up action would be initiated.
Tests at check-posts
Swab tests would be conducted for 10% of passengers at the railway station but all passengers must undergo home quarantine for 14 days.
In the case of road travel, 10% of people coming from other States would be subjected to the test at border check-posts though the 14-day quarantine would apply to all those from other States.
The details of the passengers who arrived are made available on the MSS portal and the same is attached to the local ward/village secretariat and PHC Medical Officers concerned for supervision of home quarantine.
Those who test positive may be shifted to a COVID hospital or care centre, depending on the need and based on the recommendation of the medical officer concerned. The IDSP (Integrated Disease Surveillance Project) teams would monitor the health of those in home quarantine.