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Kerala issues new guidelines for returnees from Gulf countries
Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], June 24 (ANI): Kerala on Wednesday issued a set of new guidelines for expatriates from the Gulf countries returning to state by Vande Bharat Mission flights and chartered aircrafts. The new guidelines will be applicable from Thursday.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here that 90 per cent of the new COVID-19 cases being reported in Kerala are those who came back from outside the State and 69 per cent of the new cases are among those who arrived from abroad.
“Without screening, we are putting at risk all those people who are flying back together but we have limitations in implementing the testing in other countries. There is a danger of super spreading of the virus inside the aircraft. To minimise the risk, we will be implementing these new guidelines from tomorrow for all those who are flying in from other countries,” he said.
As per the new guidelines, all those who come from countries where testing facilities are available should take the test and carry the test certificate with them. The test must be taken within 72 hours of the flight (validity of the test report will be for 72 hours).
“They should register on the Kerala Covid Jagratha website and give all details. All passengers must undergo screening in accordance with the protocol of the State Health Department at the arrival airport. Those with symptoms will be shifted to the hospital for further tests,” read the guideline.
Further, all passengers who have not taken a test before flight must undergo a rapid antibody test at the airport even if they have no symptoms. Those who test positive must undergo RT PCR or Gene Express or TruNat test. Even if they are negative, they must undergo the mandatory quarantine for 14 days. They should wear the N95 mask, use face shield and hand gloves while travelling. They should also use a hand sanitizer.
As per new set of rules, those coming from Qatar must have green status in their country’s Ehtraz mobile app. Upon arrival, they must undergo a Covid screening test at the airport. Covid test certificate is a must for all those who come from the UAE. It may be noted that UAE is conducting an antibody test for all those who fly out of the country.
While those returning from Oman and Bahrain must wear the N95 mask, face shield and hand gloves. They should also use a hand sanitizer.
“Those coming from Saudi Arabia must wear PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) for the safety of fellow travellers, in addition to the N95 mask, face shield and hand gloves. The same rule applies to those who have not been tested in Kuwait and they have to wear PPE kit. Upon arrival, they will have to undergo a Covid test at the airport,” it read.
Passengers can exit from the airport only after the test results. Test facilities will be provided at these airports and the Health Department will take steps to safely dispose of the PPE kits, gloves and masks used by passengers.
The Chief Minister also added that strict action will be taken against those who violate the government’s instructions and quarantine norms, under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act. These matters will be communicated to the Foreign Ministry and the Embassies. (ANI)