At present, RT-PCR tests are performed on people coming from high-risk countries. (Representational image: PTI)
Thiruvananthapuram: Laying out its strategy to fight the COVID-19 spread as the highly contagious Omicron variant was mostly detected in air travellers from foreign countries, Kerala's health department on Friday decided to make it compulsory for all international passengers arriving in the state to undergo seven days home quarantine.
A total of 280 people in the state have been infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and of these, the ones who came from low-risk countries were the most affected, state Health Minister Veena George said.
As per the Centre's guidelines, all travellers coming to the state from abroad will be required to have a seven-day compulsory home quarantine, the health minister said, adding that their RT-PCR tests will be performed on the eighth day.
Of the 280 cases, Omicron infection was confirmed in 186 people coming from low-risk countries and 64 from high-risk countries. Thirty people were infected through contacts.
At present, RT-PCR tests are performed on people coming from high-risk countries. If the results of travellers from high-risk nations are negative, they should be required to have home quarantine for seven days and RT-PCR test on the eighth day, the Health Department said.
It said the central government's guideline is to conduct random testing of samples of two per cent of those coming from low-risk countries but 20 per cent of the samples in the state are randomly tested.
"Those who become negative should stay in home quarantine for seven days. The RT-PCR test should be performed on the eighth day. If negative, they should be monitored again for seven days'', the health department said.
Samples of those who tested positive are sent for genetic testing, it added.