GoAP issues fresh Covid-19 SOPs, testing at entry points reintroduced

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 17 Apr: Overwhelmed by the surge of the second wave of Covid-19 across the country, the state government on Saturday issued new standard operating procedures (SOP), making it mandatory for all travellers entering into Arunachal to undergo rapid antigen test (RAT) at the entry points such as check gates, airport, helipad, etc.

However, the government made it clear that persons entering the state from any other state or union territory and possessing a negative RT-PCR/TrueNat and CBNAAT report or a valid vaccination completion certificate shall be exempted from testing at the entry point. The Covid negative report will be valid only if they were tested within 72 hours of entry to the state.

In the case of Covid positive reports found by RAT at the entry points, asymptomatic persons will have the option of home isolation at their destination district if they fulfill the criteria for home isolation. If home isolation is not as per the requirements, they will be shifted to the Covid care centre (CCC) of the district concerned, the government stated.

It further said that all the districts’ CCCs will be paid facilities, the rates for which will be notified by the deputy commissioners.

Symptomatic patients will have the option of home isolation if the symptoms are mild, or will be shifted to a paid CCC, the district Covid health centre (DCHC) or the district Covid hospital (DCH), depending on the severity of their symptoms as determined by the medical team.

Treatment will be free of cost at the DCHCs and the DCHs.

The government also stated that “the district administration team at the entry point shall arrange transportation, to be paid for by Covid-19 positive persons, for home isolation, in coordination with the district medical officers to ensure proper monitoring and make sure that the person follows all the Covid SOPs.”

The government also informed those having mild symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 and testing negative in the RAT on arrival “should self-isolate at home and call the district helpline and they would be directed to the nearest testing centre for collection of nasopharyngeal samples for RT-PCR or TrueNat.”

On intra-state and inter-district travel, the district administrations “will not restrict movement or impose quarantine on inter-district travellers, goods, services etc,” it said. However, for inter-district movement of persons and goods through neighbouring states, one will have to carry a facilitation pass from the district administration concerned at the point of exit (PoE) or the check gate.

Individuals carrying facilitation pass need not be tested at the PoE of the destination district, and those on inter-district movement not passing through neighbouring states will not be required to be tested at the destination districts, the SOP added.

It further asked travellers to self-monitor their health and follow all due precautions.

The SOPs have been relaxed for truckers, stating that there shall be no restriction on the movement of essential goods at the point of entry to the state.

Truckers, attendants, protocol drivers and official drivers coming into and leaving the state within eight hours need not be tested.

Truckers and attendants possessing valid negative RT-PCR TrueNat reports or valid final vaccination completion certificates shall be exempted from testing at the entry point.

It further stated that all persons entering the state and exempted from home isolation should closely monitor their health for 10 days from the date of entry. Upon development of any symptoms of Covid-19, such individuals should self-report to the nearest healthcare facility.