Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said several international travellers, who are testing negative for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) upon arrival at the airport, are found to be positive after a few days and infecting their family members during the period. He said district authorities are in touch with such travellers.
Jain blamed international flights for the consistent surge in daily Covid-19 cases that the national capital is currently witnessing. “Even during the earlier waves, the cases rose with the flights coming in,” he told reporters.
According to existing guidelines as shared by the Union health ministry, travellers from “at-risk” countries who test negative for coronavirus at the airport have to mandatorily undergo home quarantine for seven days.
On the eighth day, they are tested again and if the result turns out to be negative again, they are required to self-monitor their health for the next seven days.
For those arriving from nations not identified as ‘at-risk’, a random 2 per cent will need to take the RT-PCR test at the airport. If the result is negative, they are required to self-monitor their health for at least 14 days.
In both cases, if travellers test positive for Covid-19 at any time, their samples are sent for genome sequencing. These patients are managed at a separate isolation facility and “treated as per laid down standard protocol, including contact tracing”.
Further, their contacts are kept under institutional quarantine or at home isolation, and their health is strictly monitored by the state government concerned.
Jain’s statements came a day after Delhi recorded the biggest jump in single-day Covid-19 cases since June 4 with 496 infections and yet another death.
Meanwhile, the national capital’s Omicron tally on Wednesday climbed to 238, thereby making it the worst-hit region in India. Maharashtra, which was till now been the top contributor, has so far logged 167 of the 781 infections related to the highly transmissible variant reported in the country.
Jain also assured citizens that the Delhi government is fully prepared to tackle the prevailing crisis. “Till now, what we have seen is that patients are not requiring oxygen for treatment and are getting cured easily,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
The Delhi government on Tuesday imposed “yellow alert” in the city in wake of the coronavirus situation. This includes closing schools and colleges, cinemas and gyms, among others. A night curfew has also been imposed between 10pm and 5am.