SEC issues revised protocol for administrative, institutional quarantine for rail, air travellers
Reiterates mandatory 100% COVID-19 testing of all incoming passengers to J&K
Jammu: The State Executive Committee (SEC) Thursday issued revised quarantine procedures and protocols to be followed for all incoming passengers by air, rail and road into the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The SOPs regarding COVID testing have been revised by the SEC in exercise of powers conferred upon it under Section 24 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 in supersession of all previous orders, instructions and protocols on the subject keeping in view the minimal positivity rate among rail and air travelers, an official press release said.
It said the revised guidelines read that all passengers arriving by air, rail or road into J&K shall be 100 percent tested for COVID-19 antigen using the RTPCR or Rapid Antigen test or any other prescribed method.
“All air and rail passengers who have a valid contactable mobile number with the Aarogya Setu application downloaded on their phones shall be sent for home quarantine for 14 days or till their test results are reported negative, after their sampling is done as per the protocol in use. In case of air or rail passengers without a valid contactable phone number with the Aarogya Setu app downloaded on their phones, they will be sent to administrative/institutional quarantine or paid quarantine for 14 days or till their test results are reported negative, in which case they are released for home quarantine,” the guidelines said.
In the event of any such air or rail passengers testing positive, the protocol with regard to COVID-19 positive patients will be followed, it added.
The existing practice of 100 percent institutional/administrative/paid quarantine for 14 days of all passengers till the test results are received shall, however, continue in case of road travellers who arrive in a regulated manner at Lakhanpur.
The testing and quarantine procedures prescribed above will be applicable to all air travellers from a Red district to an Orange/Green district within UT of J&K, the guidelines say.
Additionally, some identified categories of passengers arriving by any means other than rail or air from outside the UT into the Jammu and Kashmir will be sampled on arrival for COVID-19 RTPCR or Rapid Antigen testing or other approved methods and sent to home quarantine for 14 days; and, if their test result is positive, will be treated as per the existing protocol for COVID-19 positive patients.
“The categories include pregnant women in the last trimester, with a doctor’s certificate of pregnancy, cancer patients on chemotherapy, chronically ill/organ transplant/IVF patients discharged from a hospital after a surgical procedure, dialysis patients with a doctor’s certificate of being on dialysis, mothers with infants below one year, children below 10 years travelling alone without a family member, Government of India personnel on bona fide government duty, passengers/travellers with an RTPCR test negative certificate from an ICMR approved laboratory/testing facility, not older than 2 days (48 hours) before the arrival date, business travellers by air/rail to J&K on business/industrial visits, with a confirmed return air/rail ticket booking within 4 days, confirmed hotel reservation and a business ID and business travellers by road to J&K on business/industrial visits, with an undertaking to return within 4 days, a confirmed hotel reservation and a business ID, ambulance drivers of J&K dropping patients outside the UT, on their return, if they return within 36 hours,” the new guidelines say.
The new procedures also said that business travellers to J&K on business/industrial visits, with a confirmed return air ticket booking, confirmed hotel reservation and a business ID will proceed to their hotel from the airport and restrict their interactions to the business purpose for which they have come.
“They will, however, be sampled on arrival for the COVlD-19 antigen and, if their test result is positive, will be treated as per the existing protocol for COViD-19 positive patients. They shall also be required to maintain complete details of the persons whom they came in contact with during their stay in J&K,” the guidelines say.
They say besides the personnel of Defense and Central Armed Police Forces returning to duty, including transit labour hired by BRO to go to Ladakh, are exempted from compulsory 100 percent COV1D-19 antigen testing and administrative/institutional quarantine in any facility authorized by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The said personnel shall be allowed to proceed to the institutional quarantine of their respective units/formations for necessary quarantine as per their internal procedures.
Any violation of these instructions will attract penalties under the Disaster Management Act-2005 and other provisions of law, the guidelines say.
Pertinently, the existing instructions of J&K government on the subject mandated 100 percent administrative and institutional quarantine or paid quarantine for 14 days, of all incoming passengers by air, rail and road or till their COVID-19 antigen test results are reported negative, in which case they are released for home quarantine, or if positive, in which case they are sent to a COVID hospital for recovery and treatment.