Odisha: Compulsory Institutional Quarantine for UK Returnees

In the past few days, the news of a new mutated COVID virus found in the UK has created a cause for concern. Considering the rapid spread of the virus, the Odisha Government has made 14-day quarantine compulsory for people who have returned from the UK in the last 14 days.

Any traveller from the UK who tests positive for COVID-19 will have to undergo institutional quarantine, while those negative will remain under home quarantine.

The judgment was passed after the union government issued an SOP addressing the states to take essential precautionary measures and place strict surveillance and quarantine standards for the virus’s new mutated strain.

The Health and Family Welfare department has issued strict COVID guidelines for passengers with travel history to the UK or transiting via the airports in the region on their way to Odisha. These passengers would now have to remain in compulsory home quarantine with self-monitoring and routine checks by the Rapid Response Team for 14 days. The RT-PCR test will be conducted if any person is found symptomatic within the quarantine period.

PK Mohapatra, the Additional Chief Secretary of Health department, said, “The passengers, who have returned from the UK or transited through any UK airport since December 7 will have to submit a self-declaration mentioning their date of return. They will remain in home isolation for 14 days from their arrival date. If they develop symptoms and test positive, they will be shifted to institutional quarantine for necessary treatment. As suggested by the Centre, their samples will be sent for genome sequencing”.

The Health Department has urged several agencies including Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) directors, Jharsuguda airport, Director of Capital Hospital, Commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Collector and CDM&PHO of Jharsuguda to begin precautionary measures for the distinct cluster of SARS-CoV2. “They have been directed to ensure strict adherence to the SOP issued by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” Mohapatra said.

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