Omicron variant: J-K govt to impose fine on those hiding travel history

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Amid the fear of the Omicron variant, Jammu and Kashmir government announced on Thursday that it has decided to impose a fine of Rs 20,000 and take action as per the law if anyone is found hiding their international travel history from the last two weeks at Srinagar airport.

This was decided during a recent meeting which was chaired by Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner Pandurang K Pole and attended by senior district and health officers of Srinagar and Budgam.

As per the minutes of the meeting accessed by the UNI, it was decided that all international travelers (including those domestic travelers who have a history of international travel during the past two weeks) shall be subjected to RT-PCR test upon their arrival at Srinagar Airport.

“Any travelers found hiding their international travel history shall be liable for punishment as per the laws and a fine of Rs 20,000 shall be imposed on him or her,” it said.

As per the new directions, all these travelers would be sent to administrative quarantine.

“After collection of sample for RT-PCR test all these travelers shall be sent to administrative quarantine either Government (free) or private (paid) as per their choice till their reports are available and if found positive, the same shall be sent for Genome sequencing promptly; the patient shall be admitted in a separate ward at DRDO Hospital, Khanmoh, Srinagar and treated as per the standard protocol,” it said
“If the reports come out negative, they shall be put in home quarantine or hotel quarantine (in the case of tourists) for seven days, during which they shall be monitored by the respective chief medical officers.

If any symptoms are observed during this period, they shall be immediately tested again otherwise they shall be re-tested on the day through RTPCR and if found negative, they shall self monitor their health for the next seven days.

If their second RT-PCR test comes out positive the person shall be immediately shifted to DRDO hospital Khonmoh Srinagar and his/ her sample sent for Genome sequencing,” it added.

The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir also directed Director Srinagar International airport to ensure the establishment of a Private Rapid RT-PCR testing facility for the convenience of travelers who may be willing to get themselves tested through it.

Pole also instructed Deputy Commissioner Budgam to engage SRTC buses and private vehicles for ferrying of international travelers from the airport to the administration’s quarantine facilities.

The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir instructed for the constitution of special surveillance teams of chief medical officers to ensure that the international travelers strictly observe home quarantine for one week.

The samples of those found positive for COVID-19 and with intentional travel history shall be sent for Whole Genome Sequencing on a fast track basis, the Divisional Commissioner said. (KINS)

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