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COVID-19 | Institutional quarantine not mandatory

Travellers wait in a queue at Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi. File

International travellers who test positive for COVID-19 will no longer be sent for mandatory “institutional quarantine” as the Centre has relaxed its guidelines, allowing States leeway in how they deal with such passengers.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has amended its guidelines for international travellers from “at-risk countries”, who have to compulsorily undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival at an airport in India. It has said in its communication on Thursday that if such passengers test positive, “they shall be treated/isolated as per laid down standard protocol.” These protocols vary from one State to another.

Earlier, in its guidelines issued on November 30, 2021, when Omicron started making news, the Health Ministry had said that upon testing positive, travellers “shall be managed at separate isolation facility.”

This relief also extends to those who come in contact with travellers who test positive. They were also earlier required to be “kept under institutional quarantine or at home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned State Government.”

Not all passengers who test positive are sent for an institutional quarantine. For example, according to protocols laid down by the Delhi government, passengers who test positive can isolate themselves at home if they have a separate room. If they don’t have a separate room alocal District Surveillance Officer arranges for such a person to be admitted into a COVID Care Centre.


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Printable version | May 5, 2022 9:24:06 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-institutional-quarantine-not-mandatory/article38304869.ece