T.N. suspends mandatory random testing of COVID samples at airports 

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A healthcare worker collects the swab sample of a passenger for COVID-19 testing at Chennai International Airport on.

A healthcare worker collects the swab sample of a passenger for COVID-19 testing at Chennai International Airport on.
| Photo Credit: Velankanni Raj B.

The mandatory random testing at airports in Tamil Nadu of 2% samples of people arriving from other countries for COVID-19 has been dispensed with in accordance with the revised guidelines issued by the Union health authorities.

Director of Public Health T.S. Selvavinayagam said in his letter to the State airport director that all persons coming to the country should preferably be vaccinated.

All passengers would be subjected to thermal checks at airports. Symptomatic passengers must be isolated in-flight, and adherence to the mask mandate must be ensured. On arrival, they must be moved to the designated isolation facility. All persons must monitor their health and report to the nearest health facility in case of suggestive symptoms or contact the State health helpline 104.

In another letter to the Director of Medical and Rural Health Services, Dr. Selvavinayagam said that in community settings, all persons with symptoms, including cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste and/or smell, breathlessness and/or other respiratory symptoms, should be tested.

At hospitals, however, only symptomatic persons need to be tested. Persons admitted for surgery or non-surgical invasive procedures, and women in or nearing labour and hospitalised for delivery should not be tested unless they showed symptoms. Additionally, patients discharged after mandatory isolation following the infection, those discharged from a COVID-19 facility as per the revised guidelines for discharge and persons engaged in inter-State travel need not be tested, he said.

In hospitals, however, only symptomatic persons need to be tested. Persons admitted for surgery or non-surgical invasive procedures, and women in or nearing labour and hospitalised for delivery should not be tested unless they show symptoms. Additionally, patients discharged post mandatory isolation after getting infected, those discharged from a COVID-19 facility as per the revised guidelines for discharge and persons engaged in inter-State travel need not be tested, the medical officer has said.

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