The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the state government to quarantine people coming from red zones at the state borders for a week before allowing them to proceed to their destinations.
Hearing a PIL on the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the state with the influx of migrants, a division bench of the high court comprising Justice Ravindra Maithani and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia asked the state government Wednesday to create quarantine centres at each border point of the state and keep returnees from red zones there mandatorily for a week.
Of the quarantined persons, those who have symptoms as per the guidelines of ICMR shall be tested for RT-PCR, the high court said.
They should be allowed to go further only if they test negative, it said.
"We are not against the arrival of the people. They have every right to come. Our only concern is that in these difficult times there must be a proper screening at the borders," the bench observed.
During the hearing, the government conceded that present tests being done on the borders, are only limited to thermal screening and general clinical examination.
The court observed that this was not sufficient and it can do better.
The government also informed the court that more than two lakh persons are likely to return to Uttarakhand.
Since the opening of the state borders, more than 90,000 people have already reached Uttarakhand.
On a daily basis roughly 6,0007,000 persons are entering Uttarakhand from various border points, it said.
The Court also directed that the rapid test kit be procured immediately and used for testing at entry points at the borders.
ICMR has approved a testing kit, called Elisa Kit, under Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, which can be made available to the state government, the court observed.
Such tests have already been performed in District Pauri Garhwal of Uttarakhand. Let it be done for surveillance purposes in other districts as well, it said.
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