New Delhi: According to the revised guidelines for international arrivals released on Thursday, children below five years are exempted from both pre and post-arrival testing for COVID-19 in India.
But if found symptomatic for coronavirus infections on arrival or during the home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and be treated according to laid down protocol, the guidelines stated, as reported by news agency PTI.
As the global trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to decline with certain regional variations, the document stressed the need to monitor the continuously changing nature of the virus and that evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern must still remain in focus.
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The guidelines, which were first issued on February 17 with subsequent additions for international arrivals in India, have been formulated taking a risk-based approach.
The union health ministry stated that the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed in view of increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the pandemic.
“Children under 5 years of age are exempted from both pre- and post-arrival testing. However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and treated as per laid down protocol,” the ministry stated, as quoted by PTI.
It was informed that this standard operating procedure shall be valid from November 12 (00.00 Hrs IST) till further orders.
“15 days must have elapsed since completion of the COVID-19 vaccination schedule,” the guidelines said.
As per the existing guidelines, if travellers are fully vaccinated and coming from a country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines, they shall be allowed to leave the airport and need not undergo home quarantine.
After arrival, they shall self monitor their health for 14 days.
If partially or not vaccinated, the travellers need to undertake measures which include submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival after which they will be allowed to leave the airport, home quarantine for seven days, re-test on the eighth day of arrival in India and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for next seven days.
Travellers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, if develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-testing, need to immediately self isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call national helpline number (1075)/state helpline number.
On arrival deboarding should be done ensuring physical distancing and thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport.
The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown to the airport health staff.
The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility according to health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed according to laid down protocol.
Contacts of the suspect case are the co-passengers seated in the same row, three rows in front and three rows behind along with identified cabin crew. Also, all the community contacts of those travellers who have tested positive (during home quarantine period) would be subjected to quarantine for 14 days and tested as per ICMR protocol, the guidelines stated.
(With Agency Inputs)
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