Passengers coming from the UK should undergo RT-PCR test and isolated in a separate unit of an institutional facility if found positive, stated the Health Ministry's standard operating procedure issued on Tuesday in view of the new variant of coronavirus detected there.
India has suspended all passenger flights connecting the United Kingdom from Wednesday till December 31 or till further orders in the wake of the emergence of a mutated strain of the virus there, joining several other countries that have imposed a similar flight ban.
The SOP by the Health Ministry for epidemiological surveillance describes the activities to be undertaken at the point of entry and in the community for all flyers who have travelled from or transited through the UK from November 25 to December 23.
It stated that all travellers from the UK will be required to declare, according to existing procedure, their travel history of past 14 days and fill up the self-declaration form to be screened for COVID-19.
All passengers coming from the UK from December 21 to 23 would be subjected to the RT-PCR test on arrival and this has to be ensured by respective state governments, the SOP stated.
Those found negative in RT-PCR test at the airport would be advised quarantine at home and followed up.The passengers who are found positive shall be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate unit coordinated by the respective state health authorities. They would earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment, it said.
A spike gene-based RT-PCR test should also be performed by an appropriate laboratory in case of a positive sample, the health ministry recommended.Also, contacts of such travellers who were found COVID-19 positive at airport testing would be subjected to institutional quarantine and tested according to ICMR guidelines.