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Protocol for road travellers to kick in from today

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The Times Of India
26th May, 2020 04:39 IST

Panaji: The new standing operating procedure ( SOP ) for road passengers will come into force from Tuesday. The protocols, announced late Sunday evening, were made applicable only to rail and air passengers on Monday.

“The new SOP for road passengers will be enforced from Tuesday. We needed a day to make the change in the electronic system to provide three options to road travellers when applying for transit permit,” secretary health Nila Mohanan said while replying to a question over the delay in applying the new protocol for those entering the state by road.

“The road passengers were subjected to the old protocol on Monday. Their swabs were taken for screening at Asilo hospital in Mapusa,” she said at a press conference.

The three options offered for visitors are - no quarantine if a Covid-19 negative certificate issued by a Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) certified laboratory and which was obtained prior to 48 hours of arrival is produced, pay Rs 2,000 and take a Covid-19 test on arrival, or take a quarantine stamp and stay at home for 14 days.

Meanwhile, three out of nine rail travellers opted for testing on arrival, while 50 air passengers out of 94 who arrived in three differnet flights earlier in the day chose to be tested with the other travellers prefering home quarantine, she said.

Mohanan said as per the new SOPs, those found violating home quarantine conditions will be placed in paid quarantine.

“Under the old protocol, we had received a few complaints of violations of home quarantine conditions, some have been genuine and some not. Necessary action was taken against the violators,” she said.

She also refuted reports that some flights were called off due to confusion over SOPs followed by different states. “The SOP has nothing to do with getting on a flight. It’s all about what happens after travellers land. Of course, since every state was coming out with its own SOPs, airlines did face some difficulties, but flights were cancelled as airlines awaited bookings,” she said.

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