Following the Centre's letter to the state saying its air travel guidelines are not in agreement with the COVID-19 SoPs and guidelines issued by the Union government, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Debashish Chakravarty on Thursday said that the state government was considering a revision of its guidelines.
The state government had mandated seven-day institutional quarantine for travellers arriving from 'at-risk' countries on Tuesday night in view of concerns over the Omicron variant. These passengers will also undergo RT-PCR tests on the second, fourth and seventh day of their arrival. If tested Covid-positive, they shall then be shifted to a hospital. The passenger shall have to serve seven day home quarantine if tested negative.
However, in a letter to Maharashtra Health and Family Welfare Department's Additional Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Vyas, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan asked the state to align its order with the SOPs issued by the Centre.
"The revision of guidelines is being considered and the picture will be clear by this evening," Chief Secretary Chakravarty said.
As per the new guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry on November 28, passengers coming from at-risk countries will have to undergo RT-PCR testing post-arrival and will be required to wait for the results at the airport itself before they can leave the airport or take a connection flight.
Those from countries other than those listed 'at-risk' can leave the airport. They shall have to self-monitor for 14 days. Five per cent of the total flight passengers shall also have to undergo testing at random at the airport.
But as per the new guidelines proposed by the Maharashtra government, all from countries other than those 'at-risk' will have to undergo compulsory RT-PCR test at the airport. Even if tested negative, they shall have to undergo 14-days of home quarantine. Furthermore, the Mumbai civic body made a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours mandatory for all domestic passengers.