Goa allows paid Covid-19 test or home isolation option

Panaji: In a new set of standard operating procedure (SOP) rolled out by the Goa government, here on Saturday, domestic air passengers as well as those arriving via road or rail could choose between a paid Covid-19 test or a 14-day home quarantine on entry to the state.

The SOP for the stranded international passengers travelling to Goa, which included a mandatory 14-day stay in institutional quarantine, remained unchanged, said Health Secretary Nila Mohanan.

Thermal screening was mandatory for people arriving here, she added.

“The SOP will be uniform for road, rail and air passengers. After the thermal screening, passengers can either opt for a Covid-19 test or a 14-day quarantine at home. They can choose the optoin, through a self-declaration form, which will be given to them during the journey,” Mohanan said.

The cost of the Covid-19 test, charged by the state government, is Rs 2,000.

If found positive during the Covid-19 test, the passenger would immediately be shifted to the designated Covid-19 hospital, Mohanan said.

The decision to allow the incoming passengers the home quarantine option against the institutional quarantine had been taken due to the stress on the infrastructure, she said.

“(Institutional) Quarantining is a burden on infrastructure and manpower,” she said, adding strict vigilance would be maintained on passengers, stamped for home quarantine, using the police and the panchayats and municipalities officials.

“Home quarantining will be monitored strictly,” Mohanan said.

The Health Secretary also said one more person tested Covid-19 positive in Goa on Saturday, taking the state’s tally of active cases to 39.