ITANAGAR, Jun 23: The health & family welfare department on Tuesday notified decisions and issued new standard operating procedures (SOP) for various categories, based on consultations with stakeholders.
Changes in SOPs
SOP for returnees: As per the notification, all stranded returnees have been advised to return to the state by 30 June. After 1 July, the returnees shall have to bear the cost of institutional quarantine.
The district administration shall create paid quarantine facilities for all categories of people.
The present RT-PCR/TrueNat testing system has been modified from “after third day on arrival” to “after fifth day on arrival” for mandatory institutional quarantine.
The rest of the SOPs on testing and institutional quarantine remain the same, and the “gold standard” of RT-PCR and TrueNat testing will be followed.
SOP for labourers: This SOP is applicable to government and private workers.
In the first phase, only those workers related to emergency and essential services, like telecom operators, health technicians, power and water supply technicians, and other infrastructure and health-related functionaries shall be allowed to enter the state till 30 June.
It is to be noted that these workers would require prior approval of the home commissioner.
Government project owners/contractors have been advised to apply online through email to the home commissioner.
In phase two, from 1 to 31 July, all public and private workers with valid ILPs may be allowed to enter the state.
It is to be noted that these workers will have to undergo five days of compulsory institutional quarantine, followed by RT-PCR/TrueNat testing.
If their test results come out negative, they shall continue to work, following strict social distancing norms. If the result is positive, the normal SOP for treatment of positive persons will be followed.
The health department has also informed that only project-specific labourers will be permitted entry, and that the project agency (government and private) in-charge/contractor must ensure availability of quarantine facility as per norms.
It will also be the responsibility of the project agency in-charge/contractor to pay for quarantine if the workers avail government-declared quarantine, and for testing and facility.
However, wherever the labourers are engaged directly by the central, state or paramilitary forces, the cost of testing will be borne by the Arunachal government.
The third phase of allowing workers into the state will be decided by the government based on the situation post 31 July.
SOP for officers: State officials on short/long lour outside Arunachal shall follow the returnees’ protocol on their return, which includes five days of mandatory institutional quarantine, followed by testing.
If the result is negative, they need to complete home quarantine upto 14 days from the day of their arrival in the state. The officers shall be allowed to work from home during the home quarantine period. If the result comes out positive, they will be shifted to a Covid health facility.
The same protocol needs to be followed by central government officials on tour to Arunachal.
Opening of educational institutes: The health department has also issued direction that schools may reopen from 1 August, subject to MHRD/MHA instructions. However, this decision will be reviewed on 15 July.
“Necessary arrangements shall be made on the decided SOP in this regard before opening of schools by the deputy commissioners and the DDSEs along with respective MLAs,” it said.
It is to be noted that some district administrations have issued notifications that government and private schools will reopen on 15 July.
The decision on reopening of colleges still remains inconclusive, with the health department informing that “colleges will be opened, and exams will be held in consultation with RGU as per UGC guidelines.”
Conducting online classes for covering courses has also been suggested.
The UGC had issued guidelines in April, stating that the new academic session for old students would commence from 1 August, while for the new students it would be 1 September 1, besides suggesting various other measures.
Fresh ILP/PAP issuance: Fresh inner line permits (ILP) shall be issued only to those engaged in emergency and essential services, like telecom operators, health technicians, health-related functionaries, and labourers for government (state/central/PSUs/CPMF, etc) infrastructure projects till 31 July.
The project agency shall have to apply online through email to the home commissioner for approval as the workers will be issued project-specific ILPs.
There are also some general conditions for workers, which will require them to undergo five days’ compulsory institutional quarantine, followed by testing. If their results are negative, they can continue their work with the “new normal,” the health department said.
It reiterated that the project agency in-charge/contractor must ensure availability of quarantine facility as per norms and must pay for the quarantine cost if availing government quarantine, and also for testing.
The notification also stated that violators will be dealt with as per the Disaster Management Act and other provisions, and that the government may review and take appropriate actions after 31 July.