Assam Omicron: new guidelines for international travelers

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Given the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Assam amid new fear of the Omicron variant, the state government has issued guidance for travelers exiting or entering the state from abroad in order to prevent a virus outbreak in the state.

Trip planning:

a. All international travelers from the state exiting or entering Assam must

  • Submit the self-declaration form on the Air Subidha online portal and plan the trip, including trip details for the last 14 days
  • Download a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. This test must have been carried out within 72 hours of the start of the trip.
  • Each passenger must also submit a statement regarding the authenticity of the report and will be liable to criminal prosecution if otherwise.

b. They must also make a commitment on the portal or otherwise with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, through the relevant airlines, before being allowed to undertake the trip, which they would comply with the decision by appropriate government authority to undergo quarantine / self-health, surveillance, as needed.

vs. Continuing the previous approach, travelers from certain specified countries (based on the COVID-19 epidemiological situation in those countries in Annex A) are identified for further follow-up. The list of these specified countries is a dynamic exercise based on the evolving COVID-19 situation around the world and will be available on the websites of the Department of Health and Family Welfare (mohfw.gov.in ) and the link of the same will be available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and on the Air Suvidha portal.

Before boarding:

a. Passengers originating in or in transit from countries at risk must be informed by airlines that they will undergo post-arrival tests, quarantine if they test negative, strict isolation protocols if they test positive, etc., as mentioned in paragraph (xv).

b. Dos and Don’ts should be provided with travel tickets by the relevant airlines / agencies.

vs. Airlines only allow boarding to passengers who have completed the self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal, uploaded the negative RT_PCR test report.

D. When boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board after a thermal screening. e. All passengers are advised to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.

3. During the trip:

a. An in-flight announcement about COVID-19, including precautionary measures to follow, must be made at airports and in-flight and during transit.

b. During the flight, the crew should ensure that appropriate COVID behavior is followed at all times.

vs. If a passenger reports symptoms of COVID-19 during the flight, they should be isolated according to protocol.

4. Upon arrival:

a. Boarding must be done while respecting physical distancing.

b. A thermal screening would be carried out for all passengers by health workers present at the airport. The self-report form completed online will be presented to airport health personnel.

vs. Passengers showing symptoms during screening should be immediately isolated and taken to the medical facility in accordance with health protocol. If they test positive, their contacts should be identified and managed according to established protocol.

D. Travelers from specified risk countries (as mentioned above) will follow the protocol detailed below:

  • Submission of the sample for the post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival (self-paid). These travelers will have to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before departing or taking a connecting flight.
  • Passengers not tested and those who become negative and therefore should be followed by the relevant District Surveillance Units on Day 2 and Day 5, and their RT-PCR test should be performed, if symptomatic.
  • If they test negative, they will follow up, quarantined at home for 7 days. Test again on the 8th day of your arrival in India and if negative, further monitor your condition for the next 7 days.

However, if these travelers test positive, their samples must be sent for genomic testing to the INSACOG laboratory network.

They should be managed in separate isolation facilities and treated in accordance with established standard protocol, including the contact tracing mentioned in paragraph (xiv).

Contacts of these positive cases should be kept in institutional quarantine or home quarantine strictly monitored by the district surveillance officer concerned, in accordance with established protocol.

They will also be monitored for symptoms on days 2 and 5 and tested for COVID positivity if they are symptomatic. If they are asymptomatic, they will be tested on the 8th day by the RTPCR and if they are positive they will undergo the above mentioned treatment and if they are negative, after another 7 days of isolation, will be released on the 15th day .

Travelers from countries excluding countries at risk will be allowed to leave the airport and will have to monitor their health for 14 days after arrival.

A subsection (2% of the total number of passengers) of each flight identified by the relevant airlines (preferably from different countries) will be subjected to random post-arrival testing at the airport on arrival.

This traveler will be escorted by the relevant airlines / MoCA to the test area on arrival. Laboratories should prioritize testing of samples from these travelers.

If these travelers test positive, they will be managed according to established standard protocol and samples will then be sent for genomic testing.

If travelers quarantined at home or under health surveillance develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on a retest, they will immediately self-isolate and self-isolate. report to their nearest health facility or call the National Helpline (1075) / State Helpline Number International travelers arriving at land ports.

International travelers arriving through land ports will also need to follow the same protocol as above, except that online check-in is not currently available for these passengers.

These travelers must submit the self-declaration form to the appropriate authorities of the Government of India at land ports upon arrival.

Children under 5 are exempt from pre-arrival and post-arrival testing. However, if they show symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival or during the home quarantine period, they should be tested and treated according to established protocol.

Contacts of the suspected case are co-passengers seated in the same row, 3 rows in front and 3 rows behind with the identified cabin crew.

Additionally, all community contacts of those travelers who tested positive (during the home quarantine period) would be quarantined for 14 days and tested according to the ICMR protocol.

Also read: Assam: IIT-Guwahati containment zone after peak in COVID-19 cases



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