Guwahati: Assam government has decided to change the home quarantine rules for air passengers arriving in the capital city of Guwahati. For air passengers, the 10 days mandatory quarantine has been done away with. Instead, the passengers will have to self-isolate until they receive their COVID-19 test results, which could take a maximum of 5 days.
Assam's health and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today informed that the norms in place for the home quarantine for air passengers shall henceforth be changed. From now onwards, the passengers have to get tested via both antigen and RT-PCR tests. If the result is negative, the incoming passengers need not go for home quarantine. However, if they do testing free of cost, they will have to self isolate for 3 days until the results are made available to them.
Sarma further informed that if air passengers require the RT-PCR result within 24 hours, they will have to pay a sum of Rs. 2,200. If, however, they are reluctant to pay the amount, they shall have to wait for a period of 3 days before they get their result.
"Thus, the time period for home quarantine will be reduced for the air passengers. At the most, they (passengers) will have to be in quarantine for a period of 5 days," Sarma said.
At the same time, the COVID-19 positive patients who recovered from the viral disease and have the ICMR certificate, will not have to go for tests after their arrival by flights/trains. "If they are not symptomatic, all COVID passengers can come without any notification. However, they will have to carry either their COVID positive certificate or the discharge certificate from the hospital," Sarma informed.
Sarma also informed that an app (visitassam.org) has been launched to prevent overcrowding at the airports over the filling up of forms. "The crowding for filling up forms leads to problems in maintaining social distancing. This newly-launched app will have all the forms that need to be filled up at the airport," he clarified.
Although the number of COVID-19 cases in Assam has been rising at a steady and alarming rate, the recovery rate of 81.6% is also quite impressive. The number of tests in the state -- inhabited by around 3 crore people -- has crossed 30 lakh, the minister has further informed.
Sarma also informed that the state health department is planning to conduct over 1 lakh tests for 3 consecutive days -- September 28, 29, and 30 -- in its drive to ramp up testings.