State directs to form unit to track down foreign returnees

Kolkata: State Health department has directed the District Magistrates of all the districts and various civic bodies to conduct proper surveillance on the foreign returnees and track them whether they are following the Covid protocols. The development comes on the day when five more Omicron positive cases were detected out of which four have no history of foreign travel.

According to the latest guidelines of the state health department, foreign returnees have to mandatorily stay in isolation even if they test negative in the RT-PCR. All the district administrations have been asked to keep an eye on the foreign returnees as the Omicron infected cases are on the rise.

Covid tests will be performed at the Calcutta airport. RT-PCR tests will have to be performed on them 8 days after their arrival date. Samples of those who will be found positive in the RT-PCR will be sent for genome sequencing.

People will have to remain at hospital isolation till their reports come negative in the genome sequencing.

In case the report comes negative, 14 days isolation is mandatory. Contact tracing will be done of those who will be found positive in the RT-PCR after returning from abroad.

Those who will test negative in the RT-PCR after their arrival will have to undergo Covid tests after 8 days. If anybody is found positive, he/she will have to be admitted to a hospital and genome sequencing will be followed.

Airport authorities have been urged by the Health department to share the list and details of foreign returnees with the District Magistrates (DMs) and the Chief Medical officer of health (CMoHs) in the concerned districts.

"If any foreign returnee develops any symptoms within 8 days, he/she has to take Covid tests and institutional quarantine must be followed. A coordination has to be maintained between the DMs, CMoHs and the airport officials. The State Health department has been taking all measures to check the transmission to the people in the state from foreign returnees. Contact tracing has been given utmost importance in case of the Omicron positive cases." a senior health official said.

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