The Indian state of Kerala has made it mandatory for all those travelling back home to first get COVID-19 test and carry the COVID-19 negative report with them for verification.
The Government of Kerala in a circular stated that ‘in order to avoid the spread of infection to the co-passengers and to isolate the infected ones, it has decided that, all the consent issued earlier and all to be issued in future will be subject to two conditions:
1. Conduct RT-PCR / Trunet Covid / Antibody test to identify the COVID-19 positive cases and to bring in only those who are tested negative. They should carry their test report with them for verification.
2. All those tested positive for the infection are to be brought in designated flights, under due notice to Government of Kerala for proper management during the travel, at airport and thereafter for quarantining and treatment.
It further said that so far, 303 flights have brought 52,165 persons as on June 16, 2020 and three navy vessels. As on June 15, 2020, consent letters have been issued to 812 flights, predominantly from the Middle East countries.
‘It is found that, close to 2% of the overseas returnees are found to be COVID-19 positive and are under treatment. The rate of infection in some countries is as high as 5%. This implies that the COVID-19 negative persons when travelled along with the infected persons, have been exposed to the infection and have become `high risk contacts’. This has posed serious problem to the government as many of the returnees could be asymptomatic carriers and potentially infecting people around them. If this is not addressed, there could be a surge of infection, leading to serious consequences to the people of Kerala.’