DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 9: Eight days after lifting of restrictions of inter-state and intra-state movements, the Nagaland Government has issued revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for returnees and other travellers entering the State with immediate effect. The revised SOP was issued on Wednesday following a meeting of the High Powered Committee on Covid-19 earlier on Monday.
The fresh SOP for returnees to the State entails self declaration and registration for inbound travellers/returnees, and reporting to the Screening Centre which may be located at the designated Points of Entry or in a convenient location as decided by the respective District Task Force. Returnees can also opt for Home Quarantine, instead of paid or institutional quarantine on fulfillment of certain norms.
No returnees/ travellers would be allowed to proceed beyond the screening centre without proof of submission of the Self Declaration and Undertaking if opting for home quarantine and Registration in the nCOVID Nagaland Visitors App and Aryogya Setu at the time of screening.
Any returnee/ traveller will be permitted to enter the State, subject to normal Inner Line Permit (ILP) restrictions wherever applicable, through Dimapur by Train, Air or by Road through the New Field Check Gate and the Dillai Gate; through Khuzama in Kohima district by Road, through Tsutapela and Watiyongpang in Mokokchung district by Road, through Naginimora and Tizit in Mon district by Road, and through Bhandari in Wokha district by Road. Entry into the State through any other route, or by any other mode of travel will not be allowed, except under special circumstances with the approval of the Home Department.
As per the fresh guidelines any person who goes out of the State by road in self-arranged conveyance and returns within 24 hours without night-halt through the same point of exit, and asymptomatic on arrival at the point of entry will be exempted from quarantine. But movement permit would be required from the respective District Task Force under which the point of exit/entry falls. Any person, including truckers and attendants of any goods vehicles, transiting the State without halting anywhere would also be exempted from quarantine.
The Nagaland Government had opened most border entry points to the State and announced a slew of relaxations earlier on September 1 as part of Unlock 4 guidelines, with the rider that revised SOP for returnees to the State would be announced later. The delay in issuing revised rules for the returnees had created an atmosphere of confusion especially in Dimapur, the main entry point to Nagaland. While returnees/inbound travelers arriving at Dimapur by train or flight had to undergo quarantine at paid-quarantine centres and Government quarantine centres, no restrictions were imposed at the New Field Check Gate and the Dillai Gate in Dimapur.
Since September 1, there has been free movement of people and vehicles at both the check gates, besides various other entry points. When Nagaland Page contacted Deputy Commissioner Dimapur, he informed that the District Task Force was awaiting issue of fresh directives and guidelines.
Free movement through the two main check gates at Dimapur will be restricted once the new SOP is put into effect, but sources in Dimapur district administration told Nagaland Page that screening of inbound travelers/visitors as per the new guidelines would be a near impossible task.
“First of all, the district administration simply does not have manpower for such a mammoth task. We will need complete cooperation of the Police and Medical department. Moreover Dimapur has porous borders with many Nagas living on the Assam side of the border,” an administrative officer said.
Sources in the district administration feel that the borders should not have been opened without first putting a monitoring mechanism in place. Regarding the different yardsticks applied to those arriving at Dimapur by train/flight, and by road, the officer said the confusion over quarantine was also created in the absence of revised SOPs.
As per the guidelines issued today, every returnee/ traveller who is found asymptomatic will undergo quarantine for 14 (fourteen) days. The returnee/ traveller on his own volition may either opt for home quarantine, or institutional quarantine in a facility managed by District Task Force or paid quarantine in the designated hotel/lodge.
All returnees/ travellers showing COVID-like symptom will be subjected to medical protocols. In case the returnee/inbound traveller is bound for some other district, then based on the fitness, will be retained in the District in which the entry point falls, or transported to the respective home/destination district in a separate transport facility. All the returnees/travellers showing no symptoms on screening will proceed to their respective districts managing their own source of conveyance. Returnees/ travelers, if found symptomatic on arrival, would be immediately tested. Any person who develops symptoms during the course of quarantine would be tested immediately. If the person in quarantine remains asymptomatic throughout the 14 days quarantine period, no testing would be required for release from quarantine.
Any person who has to immediately attend to essential and urgent works/duties on his/her entry into the State from outside and hence can’t quarantine, or because of unavoidable reasons is not in a position to quarantine, may be exempted from undergoing quarantining on entry subject to certain conditions.
Persons who are currently undergoing quarantine under provisions of the previous SOP for returnees will be released from quarantine if tested negative on TrueNat/RT-PCR, or are asymptomatic. No charge for tests will be levied on them.
Moreover, new guidelines have also been issued for movement of military/para military personnel. Respective units will have to make their own arrangements for screening of their personnel entering Nagaland at the entry point, and thereafter for transportation to the camps for mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Nagaland Chief Secretary, Temjen Toy has stated that the SOP will be uniformly implemented in the State without any deviation and without modification. (Page News Service)