Dharamshala: The CTA’s task force on Wuhan-originated COVID-19 on Friday announced new quarantine guidelines issued by the Government of India for domestic and international travellers.
A day ahead of the resumption of flight services amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) issued guidelines for passengers undertaking domestic travel via flights, trains or through inter-state bus services. As per the guideline, only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board flight, train or bus.
Passengers have to mandatorily download Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices. Besides, passengers have been urged to use face cover/mask and follow hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and maintain environmental hygiene. Thermal screening at arrival and departure point of airports, railway stations and bus terminals.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also issued guidelines for international arrivals including 14-day mandatory quarantine: 7 days paid institutional quarantine followed by 7 days of home isolation.
While calling strict observance of these self-regulatory norms, Dr Tsering Tsamchoe said that any Tibetan travelling home via the flights must report to the respective settlement offices of their arrival and follow strictly the guidelines instructed by the respective settlement office.
In the fourth phase of lockdown, the Government of India has relaxed curbs on domestic travel as well as international, commerce and manufacturing in order to keep the economy running. The new relaxation has accelerated the rate of positive cases across India.
Assessing the spike in the COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh, Dr Tenzin Tsundue said the reported cases of COVID-19 increased from 40 before the travel ease to 273 cases at present.
“The new relaxed movement could potentially pose a greater risk of infections if people and commuters do not follow the stringent rules. This means we have to enhance our vigilance and precautionary health practices like physical distancing, wearing of masks, washing hands whether at home or when you step out in public place.”
Dr Tsundue however strictly advised against commuting or venturing outside unless absolutely necessary. And if there are symptoms or fears of exposure, such individuals are advised to self-monitor and seek immediate medical help from the nearest hospital.
Dr Tsamchoe stressed that following the self-regularity practices such as maintaining one-metre distance in public place, wearing face mask and sanitising, and observing strict home or community quarantine are the collective moral responsibility as a community to ensure that disease doesn’t spread or claim more lives.
“It is absolutely crucial that all of us should diligently follow physical distancing, maintain minimum contact, self-monitor when required as these are the most effective containment strategy, said Dr Tsamchoe.
Meanwhile, the CTA task force has been carrying out daily thermal screening and monitoring at its community quarantine centres as more and more Tibetans return home amidst the travel ease.
Currently, 83 community quarantine facilities are set up across settlements with bedding capacity of 1556. 521 Tibetans who required special medical attention and services including mental counselling were provided door to door health services, medical supplies, counselling.
A total of 445 Tibetans from 26 different settlements have received the immune-boosting Sorig medicines prescribed by senior Tibetan medicine practitioner, Dr Tsewang Tamdin.
Led by Tibetan medical staff under the Settlement office, door to door thermal screening of 1973 Tibetan residents in Gangkyi, Mentseekhang, Mcleod were conducted this week.
The Settlement offices together with the health staff carried out active screening of 40,200 in 32 Tibetan settlements in India and 6 in Nepal.
According to the information received from Office of Tibet, DC and Brussels, Dr Tsamchoe reported that a 62-year-old Tibetan from the US died from coronavirus and two Tibetans (1 man and 1 woman) from Belgium have tested positive with the virus.
On the status of Tibetans under quarantine, she said a total of 672 Tibetans are currently under quarantine of which 309 are at CTA community quarantine centres and 363 under home quarantine. Samples of 15 Tibetans at Shugseb community quarantine centre have tested negative after the latest tests conducted by the HP government.
The Department of Health from time to time issues important guidelines for the public, settlement offices, its branch hospitals and awareness videos among others, all of which can be easily accessed at the official website of the Department of Health, CTA.
Latest guidelines on domestic & international travel have been issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW):