Written by Hassaan Shazuli
18 Nov, 2020 | 9:44 pm
COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lanka’s health ministry has issued separate guidelines on the home quarantine process for returnees to the country, close and distant contacts of COVID-19 patients.
Expatriates returning to the country
Returnees will be subjected to a PCR test on arrival and then directed to undergo quarantine at an institutional facility for 14 days if they test negative for the virus.
Upon completion of the two weeks, they would be subjected to another test and directed to undergo two-week quarantine at their residences if the results turn out negative.
Close contacts of COVID-19 patients
Families of close contacts of COVID-19 patients, who test negative, will be directed to undergo home quarantine as well. Institutional facilities will be granted if there are insufficient facilities at their homes.
These individuals will be subjected to PCR tests between the 11th and 14th day of the quarantine process.
Individuals who test positive will be hospitalized for treatment, while family members who test negative will be subjected to an extended quarantine period.
The quarantine process will come to an end if all family members test negative for COVID-19.
Distant contacts of COVID-19 patients
The need to carry out tests on distant contacts – those who came into contact with close contacts of COVID-19 patients – will be assessed by health officials.
Random testing or testing of vulnerable groups will be carried out before officials decide on the need to subject these individuals to home quarantine.
Institutional facilities will be provided for individuals who lack facilities to undergo quarantine at their homes.
Monitoring and Supervision
The health services director-general, in a circular, has instructed village committees and Public Health Inspectors (PHI) to ensure that individuals undergoing quarantine abide by the relevant practices.
Village committees will comprise the Grama Niladhari, Economic Development Officer, Agriculture Research and Production Assistant, Samurdhi Development Officer and the Public Health Mid-Wife.
PHI’s have been instructed to visit quarantined homes with the assistance of police and army officers and inquire into the well being of officers.
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