Arrangements put in place as per Health Ministry guidelines for foreign travellers testing positive: DDMA Srinagar

DC Srinagar chairs meeting

Srinagar: District Disaster Management Authority, Srinagar has put in place arrangements as per ICMR guidelines pursuant to foreign travellers testing positive for COVID on arrival at Srinagar which includes institutional quarantine and other logistics arrangements. Guidelines have been notified for COVID containment in view of new cases.

Chairman District Health Society and DDMA chaired a meeting to finalise arrangements to be put in place as per India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines issued on 1st January 2021. Addl Commissioner, Kashmir Dr Srikant Suse, Addl Deputy Commissioners Dr Syed Hanief Balkhi, Syed Khursheed Ahmed and Harvinder Singh, Divisional Nodal officer Dr Talat, HoD SPM Dr Saleem Khan, CMO Dr Jahangir Bakhshi, Epidemiologist Dr Tasadunq Shafi and other officers attended the meeting.

District Administration in coordination with the Department of Health has earmarked institutional quarantine and healthcare arrangements for contacts of COVID travellers as per guidelines issued by the Ministry. Meanwhile, UK travellers testing positive for COVID are admitted for hospital isolation. It was informed that contrary to some reports appearing in media two cases of foreign travellers tested positive are yet to be confirmed for UK strain as the samples have to be sent to and tested at Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Lab for genome study. A total of 21 passengers travelling from the UK have been tested so far and two cases testing positive for COVID have travelled from Italy and the UK respectively. Meanwhile, robust public health Surveillance and contact tracing have been initiated for the same. The Covid Positive patients have been shifted in Hospital Isolation and their contacts are identified and are being quarantined for observation and to be tested accordingly.

DC Srinagar emphasised that in view of research and studies about COVID variant strains still at early or emerging state precautions shall be taken for all foreign travellers to avoid any risk to the local population. Logistic and infrastructure support is accordingly extended to the health department.

As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, if the report of sequencing is inconsistent with the current SARS-CoV-2 virus genome circulating in the country, the ongoing treatment protocol including home isolation/treatment at facility as per case severity is to be followed. In conformed cases of genomic sequencing indicative of new SARS-Cov-2 variants the patients will continue in a separate isolation unit and shall be tested on 14th day. Hospitals have been notified by the Government already.

DDMA has put in place required arrangements in view of fresh guidelines of ministry in view of returnees from the UK and European countries. Meanwhile, a public appeal has been issued for ensuing COVID containment SOPs including wearing masks mandatory at public places, maintaining physical distance and personal hygiene. It is pertinent to mention here that as per provisions of DM act the district administration has authorised officers including Magistrates, Police officers, Medical officer, SMC officers and others under the Act for imposing and recovering fine.


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