Health Ministry issues SOP for surveillance and response in wake of new variant of Coronavirus

Health Ministry issues SOP for surveillance and response in wake of new variant of Coronavirus

The Government has issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for epidemiological surveillance and response in the context of the new variant of Coronavirus detected in the UK. 

The SOP describes 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 the UK in the past four weeks from 25th November to 23rd December this year. As per the SOP, all international travelers will be required to declare their travel history of the past 14 days and fill up the Self Declaration Form to be screened for COVID-19. For all the passengers coming from the UK during the period from 21st to 23rd December 2020, the concerned State governments will ensure that all passengers travelling from or transiting through airports in the 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 will  be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate isolation unit coordinated by the respective State Health Authorities. Those who are found negative on testing at the airport would be advised quarantine at home and  their monitoring would be ensured by respective State Governments. The concerned airlines will 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 will be prominently displayed in the arrival area and waiting area of the airports. Besides, 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.

The State-wise passenger manifesto of the flights from the UK landing at various international airports in India for the past four weeks will be conveyed by the Bureau of Immigration to State Government or Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme so that this data could be provided to the surveillance teams.

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