The Health & Family Welfare Department of Meghalaya issued revised protocols for testing and discharge of COVID-19 cases in the state on Tuesday.
According to the revised protocols, it is now mandatory for all people entering Meghalaya to register themselves at http://meghalayaonline.gov.in/covid/testing.htm, download the Arogya Setu App and the Behavioural Change Management App of Meghalaya, prior to their travels.
As for testing, all entrants who produce a COVlD-Negative report at the entry point are exempted from testing, irrespective of their State of origin. Additionally, the entrants should have been tested at a recognised laboratory by RT-PCR/TruNat/CBNAAT/RAT. Moreover, the test reports will be valid only if they were tested within 72 hours of their arrival at the entry point, and only the RAT Negative report will be valid only if tested within 48 hours of their arrival at the entry point.
As for those entrants who do not have a COVID-Negative report, the testing at entry points is readily available at a cost fixed by the Government. There the entrants can choose either Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or RT-PCR. Additionally, the entrants coming with a COVID-19 negative report but is seen showing symptoms on arrival at the entry point will have to be mandatorily tested by RT-PCR.
The quarantine norms have also been tweaked by the Meghalaya government as entrants with a negative RT-PCR/TruNat/CBNAAT report and not having any symptoms will be exempted from quarantine and can proceed with their daily activities normally.
As for the entrants tested by RT-PCR at the entry point, they are to go into home quarantine or paid quarantine till the test results are declared which is usually available within 48 hours. If tested negative, they will be communicated through an SMS or the entrants directly check the results online at www.coronamegh.in. If tested positive the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for home or institutional isolation should be followed.
As for entrants who tested RAT Negative at the entry point or coming with a RAT Negative certificate should undergo mandatory quarantine of seven days.
Short-term inbound and outbound movement
The Meghalaya government has also revised the protocols for people going out of Meghalaya for a short duration of five days or less. They, on return, will be exempted from quarantine if tested RAT negative at entry. They are also to provide a valid travel document in the form of an air/rail ticket or taxi voucher or any other evidence validating such travel.
Visitors coming for a specific purpose (business, examinations, industry, work, personal distress, etc.) to Meghalaya for a short duration of five days or less are exempted from quarantine on the production of a COVID-Negative RAT report from a recognized laboratory. The report will be valid only if they were tested within 48 hours of their arrival at the entry point. Such individuals can then attend to their purpose of visit but are, however, restricted to limited movement; only from the residence to their workplace.
In case the visit needs to be extended for more than five days, the visitors should mandatorily undergo RT-PCR/CBNAAT/TruNat test at their own expense in any of the recognised laboratories in Meghalaya on the 5th day and they will be allowed to carry on with their work only after the declaration of the test result.
The Health & Family Welfare Department of Meghalaya has also issued revised protocols for the discharge of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 cases and the testing and discharge policy for high-risk contacts which can be availed here.
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