GoAP issues Unlock 4 guidelines

ITANAGAR, Aug 31: Based on the ministry of home affairs’ (MHA) guidelines for Unlock 4, the state’s health & family welfare department on Monday issued a notification regarding the ‘unlock’ guidelines for Arunachal for management of Covid-19 with effect from 1 to 30 September.

As per the new unlock guidelines, all interstate travellers will be tested for Covid-19 by rapid antigen test (RAT) at state’s points of entry (PoE) and the helipad.

The RAT tests of all incoming interstate travellers at the PoE will be strictly carried out from 8 am to 8 pm. If the interstate travellers are detected as being asymptomatic and negative in the RAT on arrival, they can report to work or perform their activities in the state following the ‘new normal’.

However, they should self-monitor their health for 14 days from the date of their arrival for any Covid-19 symptoms, and immediately seek medical consultation or call the district helpline (which will be displayed prominently at all PoE). Any violation of these instructions will lead to penal action by the circle officer concerned.

If the interstate travellers are detected as being asymptomatic and positive in the RAT, they will have the option for home isolation at their destination district if they fulfill the criteria for home isolation.

If facility for home isolation is not as per the requirements, they will be shifted to the destination district’s Covid care centre (CCC). Also, if the  travellers are found to be symptomatic, ie, having mild symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 anti-negative, in the RAT on arrival, they will be required to self-isolate at home and call the district helpline within 24 hours, whereby they will be directed to the nearest testing centre for collection of nasopharyngeal samples for RT-PCR/TrueNat.

Those who are symptomatic (moderate/severe) but test negative in the RAT on arrival will be shifted to the ‘suspect case’ section of the DCHC/DCH of the point of entry district for RT-PCR/True Nat test. If they test negative in RT-PCR/TrueNat, they may be shifted to a non-Covid health facility for management of symptoms, and in case they are detected as being positive, they will be shifted to the ‘confirmed case’ section of the DCHC/DCH.

Travellers who are symptomatic and test positive in the RAT on arrival will be shifted to a CCC, a Covid health centre, or a Covid hospital, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

All travellers are to observe the standard precautions like wearing a facemask, observing physical distancing, frequent handwashing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer, following cough etiquette etc, while in public areas in the state.

CPMF and the armed forces will have to follow their own SOPs for Covid-19 management. The GoAP will continue to offering support by way of testing kits at no cost.

As per the new guidelines, truckers/attendants coming into the state and leaving the state within eight hours need not to be tested for SARS CoV-2 virus and there will be no restriction on movement of goods at the PoE to the state for truckers and attendants carrying essential items. They will be tested at point of destination district and not at the PoE to the state.

Any trucker/attendant who tests positive at the destination district will be managed in a CCC of that district. They have been advised to carry their own necessary arrangements to cook their food and halt for the night away from public areas on their way to the destination district. They are also required to wear masks and follow other precautionary measures of the new normal and leave the state immediately after unloading their goods.

Any violation of the instructions will lead to penal action, including seizure of vehicle, under the appropriate law.

Regarding intra-state/inter-district travel, the guidelines state that no authority, including the district administration, will restrict movement or impose any quarantine or testing requirement for inter-district travellers, goods, services, etc.

Inter-district movement of persons and goods through neighbouring states will carry a facilitation pass valid for 24 hours from the district administration concerned at the point of exit (check gate). Such persons shall not undergo any testing at the origin district and there will be no requirement of quarantine in such cases.

Individuals carrying facilitation passes need not be tested at the PoE of the destination district.

People travelling inter-district without passing through neighbouring states will not be required to be tested or quarantined in the destination districts.

Also, the district administration is not authorized to impose any restriction on activities outside of the containment zones for Covid-19 management.

Travellers will, however, have to self-monitor their health and follow all precautions, including wearing masks, hand hygiene, etc, and if a person is symptomatic, he/she should immediately self-isolate and call the district helpline number or visit the nearest testing centre.

The GoAP will follow the union health & family welfare ministry’s revised discharge policy dated 8 May, 2020, according to which the option of home isolation for asymptomatic positive cases will be followed by all concerned. However, individuals who fulfill the following eligibility criteria alone will be allowed home isolation:

The person should be medically assigned as asymptomatic laboratory confirmed Covid-19 positive case by RAT/RT-PCR/TrueNat.

Patients with co-morbid conditions like hypertension and diabetes, and elderly and immuno-compromised patients (HIV, transplant recipients, cancer therapy etc) may be allowed home isolation only after proper evaluation by a health team.

According to the new normal, the district administration shall ensure strict implementation of wearing of masks/face coverings in public places like government offices, market, shops, public transport, workplaces accessible to public, including government and private offices, industries, commercial establishments, building/work sites, etc.

Those not wearing a mask will be fined Rs 500 for each offence. The penalty for spitting in public areas, government or private offices and hospitals will be Rs 200, which will be enforced by the respective institutes.

The general instructions also mention that social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious and political functions and other congregations “shall be regulated as per the MHA’s order dated 29 August, 2020.”

Meanwhile, as per the unlock guidelines for the Itanagar capital region, all activities will be permitted in areas outside the containment zones, except activities restricted by the MHA order dated 29 August.

“All permitted activities, including hotels, restaurants and gyms, shall, however, follow all SOPs as issued by the GoI earlier on 4 June, 2020, and 3 August, 2020,” the notification added.