GUWAHATI: The finding of a new coronavirus variant in the United Kingdom has forced the Meghalaya government to prohibit the entry of tourists from Britain into the neighbouring state.
The state’s home (political) department on Wednesday in order has ordered the ban from immediate effect till further notice.
It said that a new variant of SARS- CoV-2 virus ( new coronavirus ) has been detected in the United Kingdom (UK) which was estimated to be more transmissible and affecting the younger population.
In view thereof, all entrants to Meghalaya from or transited through the UK in the past four weeks (from November 25 to December 23, 2020) were required to declare their travel history (of past 14 days) to the surveillance units in the state and at the districts and undergo RT-PCR test, the order said.
“All those tested positive shall be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the State Health Authorities. Those who are found negative on testing with RT-PCR are to undergo seven days of institutional quarantine followed by another seven days of home quarantine, monitored by the IDSP/District Surveillance Officers,” it added.
All those who have entered Meghalaya from the U.K. in the past four weeks were requested to self-monitor for development of symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 i.e. fever, cough, difficulty in breathing for 28 days from the date of arrival from the UK.
In case of development of symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty in breathing), put on a mask immediately, isolate oneself at home and inform the district surveillance officer or contact state helpline 108 or the helpline numbers.
In the order, the government also observed that in view of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus being detected, it was important to exercise extra caution. Hence, it has requested the residents to strictly adhere to the wearing of masks, maintain social distance and all the necessary precautions.