Govt makes entry protocol more stringent; RT-PCR must for all

SHILLONG, June 9: The Meghalaya government has revised the entry-exit protocol making RT-PCR testing mandatory for all entrants to the state regardless of whether they have a COVID-negative certificate in their possession.
The revised protocol, which comes just days ahead of the end of the lockdown on June 14, is seen as an indication that the government may lift the ban on interstate movement and possibly even the lockdown.
The protocol states that samples of entrants for RT-PCR testing will be taken at the entry point on payment basis and such persons will undergo home quarantine or paid quarantine for seven days from the date of their arrival regardless of their test results.
Day trippers also have to undergo compulsory RT-PCR testing. Such entrants are to strictly confine to their place of work and exit the state on the same day.
However, those entrants carrying a valid vaccination certificate (both doses) will be exempted from testing.
Apart from this, government officials, technical staff and logistics experts engaged to perform duties related to projects pertaining to the state department and other agencies providing essential services to the state are also exempted from testing at the entry points on production of RAT negative certificate or certificate of full vaccination.
Under circumstances wherein such officials posses none of the certificates, they are to be tested by RAT at the entry point, the protocols state.
If the aforementioned officials, however, show symptoms during their arrival at the entry point, they will have to mandatorily undergo RT-PCR testing and undergo seven-day home quarantine or paid quarantine from the date of their arrival regardless of their test results. “If tested positive, SOP for home or institutional isolation should be followed,” the protocol added.
All entrants have to register themselves on in/covid/testing.htm and download the Arogya Setu and the Behavioural Change Management apps before entering the state.
In another indication that the lockdown may not be extended any further, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday admitted that people were facing challenges due to the lockdown. “It is not possible to survive by closing down everything,” he added.
Sangma spoke about creating a balance between healthcare and economy and said that the government has permitted deputy commissioners to allow shops to open on a need basis with strict adherence to health protocols.
The chief minister, however, avoided giving a direct response on whether the lockdown would be lifted in the coming week.

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