Returnees of Arunachal Pradesh
File photo of returnees.

The Arunachal Pradesh government has brought some changes to the standard operating procedure (SOP) for those returning or travelling to the state.

The decision to revise the SOP came during a meeting held here under the chairmanship of the director of health services on Saturday.

The virtual meeting was attended by all the district medical officers of the state.

As per the revised guidelines, “all returnees and travelers entering the state will be screened by the health team for Covid-19 signs and symptoms at check gates or points of entry and will be segregated as asymptomatic and symptomatic.”

“Those asymptomatic will be allowed to proceed to their respective districts before which the administration of the district through which the returnees entered the state should ensure that their details and vehicle numbers are conveyed to the respective districts where the returnees are headed to,” an addendum later issued by health secretary P Parthiban said.

On arrival at the districts concerned, the returnees would undergo a screening and rapid antigen test which shall be carried out by the health team.

“If the rapid antigen test report is negative, the returnees will be placed in a quarantine facility to undergo a 5-day mandatory quarantine which will again be followed by a similar test.”

“However, if the returnee is found positive after the rapid antigen test, he or she will be shifted to the COVID care centre,” the addendum said.

Meanwhile, those found symptomatic at the check gates or points of entry, would have to undergo the rapid antigen test.

If their test comes out negative, the returnees would be shifted to the suspect section of COVID care centre/dedicated COVID health centre of the particular district they tried to enter the state from.

The shifting would take place as per the severity of symptoms and sample for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)/TrueNat must be taken as soon as possible, the addendum said.

If the individual’s result by RT-PCR/TrueNat is negative, he or she should be discharged with instructions to complete 14 days of strict home quarantine in their respective districts.

The 14-day period would be counted from the day of admission to the facility quarantine.

If the result by RT-PCR/TrueNat is positive, the individual should be shifted to the confirmed case section of COVID care centre/dedicated COVID health centre of the particular district and follow the SOP for COVID19 positive cases.

If a symptomatic returnee tests positive for Covid-19 after the rapid antigen test at the check gate of point of entry, he/she will be shifted to COVID care centre/dedicated COVID health centre of the particular district as per the severity of symptoms and follow the SOP for COVID19 positive case, the addendum added.

The state government on Friday had revised the SOP for COVID19 screening and management for the Indian Army, Central Armed Police Forces, National Disaster Response Force and Border Roads Organization.

Arunachal’s COVID19 tally crossed the 1000-mark after 65 more people, including 33 security personnel, tested positive for the virus on Saturday.

The state at present has 661 active cases.

While 392 people have recovered from the virus, the state has registered three COVID19 related deaths so far.


Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: