In view of the Omicron threat, the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Public health and Preventive medicine has written to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) that passengers arriving at the four international airports in the state follow the guidelines on vaccines provided by the department.
Irrespective of the status of vaccine taken, Tamil Nadu has made it compulsory for passengers arriving from at-risk countries — South Africa, Botswana, China, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Brazil, Singapore, Israel, and European Union countries, including the UK.
At Chennai airport, T4 terminal is converted into an exclusive area for testing of passengers arriving from these at-risk countries. The passengers will have to stay back at the airport till the results of the tests come out. According to sources in the Airport Authority of India (AAI), 450 passengers could be accommodated in this enclosure for testing.
The Tamil Nadu Public Health Department in a letter issued to the directors of Chennai, Tiruchi, Coimbatore, and Madurai Airports has directed that if any passengers are found symptomatic they should be isolated and taken to a medical facility in coordination with the local medical authorities to have a record on the person who has tested symptomatic.
The passengers, who arrive from the above-mentioned countries and who test negative, will have to remain in home quarantine for a week and after the eight-days they will have to undergo a retest.
The Directorate of Public Health in the letter also mentioned that the passengers who arrive from countries other than at-risk countries will be allowed to leave the airport and will have to self-monitor their health for 14 days.
However, a section of the people arriving from all countries will be subjected to random checking to find out whether there are any traces of the new variant. The AAI will be making the necessary arrangements at the airports for the passengers who have undergone testing.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian while speaking to IANS said, “The Directorate of Public Health has already written to the directors of all the four international airports in the state regarding testing of passengers from at-risk countries and it has commenced.
“We have to be extra cautious regarding the spread of the new variant and hence the precautions. Door-to-door vaccination is being carried out effectively in the state and we are expecting to inoculate the whole population with the first dose of the jab in a short time. ace