A state government official said international passengers arriving in Kerala would still have to go through a mandatory seven-day quarantine, while refuting some media reports that claimed the quarantine had been canceled. ...
Dr A Kowsigan IAS, Disaster Management Commissioner, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, told the Gulf Times that the quarantine order for international travelers, issued in September this year, remains the same.
Dr Kowsigan said the state has made no decision to review quarantine regulations even though India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare updated quarantine protocols on 5 November .
"All incoming passengers who are asymptomatic must undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine, which will be followed by a Covid-19 test from a laboratory closer to their home in Kerala," said Dr. Kowsigan.
“It can be tested on the seventh day after arrival, and if it is tested negative, an additional seven-day quarantine is optional and not mandatory, although a 14-day quarantine is desirable according to health protocol,” Dr. A. Jayathilac, Department of Revenue and Disaster Management Chief Secretary of the Gulf Times newspaper in a previous interview.
According to Ministry of Health guidelines, any patient with a negative test report for Covid-19 can withdraw from institutional quarantine and undergo home quarantine or 'self-monitoring' of health, where applicable. However, the ministry also said that countries could impose any additional restrictions regarding quarantine and isolation according to the field assessment after the passengers' arrival in the country in question.
Many airports across India offer passengers a facility to take Covid-19 tests at the airport health counters.
In Kerala, there is an airport testing facility available at Kochi and Tiruvananthapuram Airports. He explained, "There are no plans to expand the facility to other airports where most of the international passengers arrive with the tests." However, regardless of their test status, all passengers must undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine and take the test on the eighth day.
Dr. Kowsigan noted: "According to the state Department of Health protocol, passengers will be tested if their symptoms are found during quarantine or at the end of quarantine, and if they are positive, the district health team will inform the patient where the results will be with the district health team."
He added, "If patients who do not show positive symptoms are tested, they can choose home or institutional isolation, which must then be transferred to the health team." Moderately ill patients with symptoms can opt for treatment at any of the state's Covid Second Line treatment centers, and critically ill people can opt for treatment at Covid-19 Hospital.
"If symptoms of isolation appear at home, they will have to inform the team responsible for monitoring them and the car will be sent to their home to take them either to the Covid First Line Treatment Center or the Covid Second Line Center, or Covid if necessary."