The Assam Government revised its guidelines for air passengers coming to the state on 11th July. The Principal Secretary of the Health & Family Welfare Department had highlighted four points in the new order.
According to the new order, the Rapid Point-of-care (PoC) Antigen Detection Test is conducted on passengers at the airport at the time of arrival and the results are available on the spot within an hour. If the Antigen Detection Test of a passenger turns out to be positive, he/she is immediately ushered to a COVID hospital or covid care centre. However, if the Antigen Detection Test of a passenger turns out to be negative, he/she proceeds for home quarantine. This was initially for a period of 14 days which has been reduced now to ten days. Simultaneously, their swab samples are sent for RT-PCR Covid-19 tests.
Now, certain passengers are wary of home quarantine because the rest of the family too has to undergo the quarantine phase and the residence is declared as a containment zone. In such cases the administration facilitates quarantine in hotels at the individual's expense.
Home quarantine reduces the load on institutional centres but also has a set of challenges.For passengers who arrive at unconventional hours, the administration makes arrangements for hotel quarantine for duration of 36 hours and bears the expenditures. After that, the individuals decide on their quarantine mode. These provisions are applicable only for the passengers who ton negative in the Antigen Detection Test.
Before 11th July, in-bound air passengers had to go for strict hotel quarantine or get quarantined in COVID centers established by the Assam Government. These revised guidelines have encouraged many people to come to the state. Most are people who originally hail from Assam and some are people who have come for emergency work. While home quarantine definitely reduces the load on government quarantine centres it also has a set of unique challenges. For instance neighbors of families under home quarantine have become increasingly uneasy as many of these returning air- passengers have tested positive eventually. "It has been observed that while most of these people successfully complete their quarantine period, people who come into contact with them afterwards end up contracting the virus," said a Guwahatian on condition of anonymity.
So could it be possible that home quarantine rules are bent by a few people?