COVID-19 in Maharashtra: No RT-PCR test for asymptomatic passengers

The Maharashtra government, on Thursday, in a fresh order clarified that asymptomatic passengers arriving from Europe, South Africa and the Middle-East will not be subjected to the RT-PCR test for coronavirus immediately upon arrival. However, seven-day institutional quarantine has been made mandatory for asymptomatic passengers arriving from these regions.

Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar, in the order, said, “On arrival, no RT-PCR will be conducted for asymptomatic passengers who will be taken to a paid institutional quarantine facility. RT-PCR test will be conducted between the fifth and seventh day at the hotels, the cost of which has to be borne by the quarantined passengers. If the report is found to be negative, the concerned passengers would be discharged from the institutional quarantine with seven days of mandatory home quarantine.’’

“If the test result is found to be positive, but the patient is asymptomatic, then he/she will be required to continue the institutional quarantine in the same hotel or in a COVID-19 hospital for 14 days,” said Kumar in the order.

The government released an amended order for dealing with passengers arriving from these regions on December 21, following the detection of a new strain of the virus in the United Kingdom. The order also amended the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) issued for dealing with passengers arriving from these regions.

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