COVID-19 Update: Delhi government says returnees from UK will have to follow mandatory 7 days of institutional quarantine


New Delhi: The Delhi government on Friday has said that the passengers returned from the United Kingdom (UK) will have to spend 7 days institutional quarantine, essentially designated hotels, even if they test negative after arrival in the city.

The step came a day after Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal requested the union government to keep flight services suspended between India and the UK till January 31 to curb the transmission of the new strain of the coronavirus.

Chief Secretary Vijay Dev circulated an order which stated, “Those who are found negative shall be kept in compulsory institutional quarantine for seven days followed by seven days of home quarantine.”

The Standard operating procedure (SOP) circulated by the union government had said that those found negative at the airport would be advised home quarantine for two weeks.

Flights were at first suspended until December 31, and the suspension was then stretched out until January 7. As indicated by the SOP, all approaching travelers need to submit self-statement frames and get themselves tried through the RT-PCR technique at any rate 72 hours before their planned travel.

“Passengers testing positive shall be isolated in an institutional facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the respective state health authorities. They will earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment, and take necessary action to send the positive samples to Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Labs,” the SOP states.

The Centre had on January 1 announced a graded resumption of flights on the India-UK route from January 8. There will be 15 flights per week, as against over 60 during usual times, on this route for the first two weeks after resumption, it had said, while also outlining a fresh Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).