Maharashtra's new airport rules in divergence with MoHFW guidelines, says Centre
Travellers from countries excluding those countries at risk will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days post-arrival but five percent of the total flight passengers shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival
New Delhi: After the Maharashtra government revised the guidelines on quarantine for international passengers in view of concerns over the Omicron variant, the Centre on Wednesday asked the state to align its order with the SOPs issued by the Union Health Ministry.
Maharashtra has mandated seven-day institutional quarantine for travellers arriving in the state from 'at-risk' countries under the guidelines issued by the State Disaster Management Authority on Tuesday night.
Such passengers will also undergo-PCR test on the second, fourth and seventh day of arrival. If found to be COVID-19 positive, the passenger will be shifted to a hospital. In case the test is negative, the passenger will still have to undergo seven-day home quarantine.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter, said that the order issued by the Maharashtra government is in divergence with the COVID-19 SoPs and guidelines issued by Union Health Ministry for international passengers.
"I would, therefore, urge you to align the orders issued by the state with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, Government of India, so that uniform implementation of the guidelines may be ensured across all states and UTs.
"I would also advise that such modified orders of the state government are given wide publicity to obviate any inconvenience to travellers," he said in the letter addressed to Pradeep Kumar Vyas, Additional Chief Secretary of the state's Department of Health & Family Welfare.
Under the new guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry on 28 November, passengers originating or transiting from at-risk countries will have to undergo-PCR testing post-arrival and will be required to wait for the results at the airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.
Travellers from countries excluding those countries at risk will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days post-arrival but five percent of the total flight passengers shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.
However, according to the Maharashtra government guidelines, passengers from other than 'at-risk' countries will have to undergo a compulsory-PCR test at the airport. Even if found negative, they will have to undergo 14-day home quarantine.
The list of 'at-risk' countries has been announced by the Union government.
According to an updated list, the countries designated as 'at-risk' are the European countries, the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.
The total tally of COVID-19 cases is now at 3,65,82,129 which includes 5,753 cases of the Omicron variant
Since the emergence of Omicron, both Pfizer and Moderna has announced they’re working on vaccines to specifically target the variant, with production promised as early as March of this year.
New COVID-19 treatment rules: India cuts down use of Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, multivitamins, steroids
According to the new guidelines, Remdesivir may be considered only in patients who have completed 10 days since the start of the symptoms and require supplemental oxygen.