CHANDIGARH, MAY 26: Following Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s announcement mandating quarantine for people entering Punjab, the Health Department on Tuesday issued a detailed advisory specifying health protocol and procedure for International as well as Domestic travellers coming by Air, Rail and by Road.

Disclosing this here today, the Health & Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu told that due to the dynamic situation of COVID 19, GOI has been revising its protocol and advisories from time to time creating some difficulty in the mind of inbound travellers specially after the latest advisory of GOI issued on 24th May. He said that now the Punjab health deptt has issued comprehensive guidelines and has specified that all international travellers will be required to handover self-declaration form having personal and health details to State officers for their screening as per the health protocol at the point of entry.

Aggressive testing, tracing and isolation is the only way to ensure against virus spread, the Minister asserted underlining he won’t take any chance where lives of our people are concerned.

Inbound international Passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be taken to health facility for testing and their RT-PCR samples as per ICMR guidelines will be taken for Covid testing. Those who test positive & asymptomatic, provided they are less than 60 yrs of age or do not have any comorbidity will be kept in Covid_Care Centers, the Minister further said.

Those who test positive and need medical supervision (either due to the severity of symptoms or any associated co-morbidity or of above 60 yrs of age) will be shifted to Level II or level III facility depending on their medical condition.

Asymptomatic passengers and those found negative will be taken into Institutional quarantine (Govt/hotel quarantine) on payment basis and will be tested on the 5th day, he said adding If tested negative, they shall be allowed to go home after completion of 7 days of institutional quarantine and will be advised for home quarantine for another 7 days, a written undertaking in this regard shall be submitted to health officials/district administration. If tested positive they shall be shifted to Government isolation facility and treated as per health protocol.

However, in case of exceptional circumstances such as pregnancy/ death of immediate family member/ Severe Mental Illness, the Deputy Commissioner may allow for 14 days of home quarantine instead of institutional quarantine and this must be intimated to Health Department, a spokesperson said.

In addition, all such passengers will be required to download COVA app which should remain active.

For domestic travellers entering Punjab by air/train/inter-state travel by road , he said such people will also be screened at the entry points for symptoms of Covid-19.

The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be taken to health facility for testing. If tested positive as mentioned earlier they will be taken to covid care centers or level II or Level III health facility depending upon their health condition.

If asymptomatic or tested negative, they will be allowed to go home after submitting an undertaking for home quarantine for 14 days & self-monitoring of their health status and must report to nearest health facility in case of development of any symptoms of Covid-19. All domestic passengers too will be required to download COVA app which should remain active.

As far as frequent interstate travelers who need to move outside Punjab, such as MP/MLA, doctors, journalists, engineers, executives, traders, transporters, salespersons, consultants etc. need not be home quarantined. Deputy Commissioners and Sub-Divisional Magistrates had been authorized to issue passes to such persons who shall submit an undertaking for self-monitoring of their health status and will inform the administration in case they experience any symptoms. They are also required to download COVA app which should remain active, the spokesperson added.

He finally said that for general surveillance purpose, the Government may test more domestic inbound persons at random basis, for example at Amritsar and Mohali airports few domestic passengers have been tested at random basis.

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