The Ministry of Health on Thursday said that returnees from abroad can consider paid quarantine in hotels, service apartments and lodges for self-quarantine or isolation if they do not have space at home. In its additional guidelines that were issued, the Health Ministry also notified that there are large number of establishments like hotels and lodges which remain vacant as the travel and tourism industry has taken a hit.
The Health Ministry also stated that the decision has been taken after considering the pressure on families, comfort to the person, and protection of family members and neighbourhoods. The guidelines were issued after the government commenced operations to bring back Indians stranded abroad.
According to the standard operating procedures (SOP), the quarantine and isolation facility will not co-exist and these facilities will offer single room on a paid basis to cases with attached washrooms. The tariff will be decided by the facilities after consultation with the respective state governments. In addition, the facilities will be required to make sure that no inter-mingling of suspect cases and confirmed cases takes place.
The facilities are also required to make sure that a doctors and a nurse are available on a 24x7 basis. As per the ICMR guidelines, the facility should also maintain contact with the approved laboratory for testing samples. Additional services like WiFi, linens, towels with infection prevention control practices should be ensured, as per the SOP.
The first Air India Express flight carrying Indian citizens from Abu Dhabi landed at the airport in Kochi on Thursday night as India launched its biggest ever repatriation exercise in its history to bring back its nationals stranded abroad amid the international travel lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Air India Express flight IX 452 with 177 passengers and four infants landed at the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) at 10.09 pm, an airline spokesman said. Another Air India Express flight IX 344 with 177 passengers and five infants from Dubai is expected to land at the Kozhikode International Airport at 10.45 pm, he said. The evacuated citizens will be sent to the quarantine facilities set up by the administration in their respective districts, Kerala government officials said.
(With Agency Inputs)