Health dept counsels 14-day self-quarantine for returnees
ITANAGAR, Mar 21: The state’s health department has collected its first swab sample to test for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). It was received by the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) in Assam for testing on Saturday afternoon.
IDSP State Surveillance Officer, Dr L Jampa, informed that the test results are usually received within a day, and said the result of the sample sent to Guwahati would be “updated as and when the state receives information from the GMCH.”
The person from whom the swab sample has been taken is currently in quarantine.
Two more samples are to be collected on Monday, and will be sent for testing to the Regional Medical Research Centre in Dibrugarh, Assam, Dr Jampa said.
The health department has also issued an advisory for students returning from other states, asking all asymptomatic students returning to Arunachal due to the closure of their educational institutes to practice social distancing by way of home quarantine for 14 days.
“If they develop any symptoms of fever, cough and breathing difficulties, (they should) immediately contact the 24×7 control room or the nearest health centre,” it said.
The state’s 24×7 control room’s numbers for Covid-19 are: 9436055743, 8837052402, 9999723102, 9366522626, 7085199227, and 9436253351. The union health & family welfare ministry’s 24×7 control room’s number is +91-11-23978046, and the website is www.mohfw.gov.in.
As on 21 March, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases was 2,82,868, with the death toll up to 11,822, the health department informed.
As per the World Health Organization’s recommendations, the current testing strategy includes the following:
All asymptomatic individuals who have undertaken international travel in the last 14 days should stay in home quarantine for 14 days, and they should be tested only if they become symptomatic (fever, cough, difficulty in breathing), while all family members living with a confirmed case should be home-quarantined.
Those who have had asymptomatic direct and high-risk contact with a confirmed case should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming in such contact.
Direct and high-risk contact includes those who live in the same household with a confirmed case, and healthcare workers who have examined a confirmed case without adequate protection.