Crowd at Guwahati airport (File photo)
GUWAHATI: As new variants of the novel coronavirus spread across the country, a sense of fear has returned among the people of the northeast as no state, except Manipur, has issued any order regarding mandatory testing for travelers from areas where a spike in cases has been recorded.
Silchar and Lilabari airports in Assam and Agartala
“It’s a tricky situation. The testing rule varies in two airports in one state. Most states are not even tracking and testing passengers from Kerala and Maharashtra where a spike has been noticed, ”an AAI official said.
Speaking about the situation, National Health Mission, Assam, director Lakshmanan S said on Wednesday, “As per the latest decision in Assam airports, mandatory testing will not be there from March 1. No decision has yet been taken to reserve this directive. As of today, we are testing all those who are arriving in flights without a valid negative Covid report from outside the northeast. ”
The Lengpui airport in Mizoram, Dimapur airport in Nagaland and Shillong airport in Meghalaya are still doing mandatory tests, AAI officials said. These airports, that cater to a much lesser number of passengers, may shield further spread of the virus. However, things may take a turn for the worse as Tripura airport, the second most busy airport in the northeast after Guwahati, has already done away with mandatory testing.
However, in the airports where mandatory testing is not there, self monitoring is prescribed – 14 days in case of Tripura and 10 days for Silchar and Lilabari. “Normal screening may not be enough to detect the asymptomatic people,” the AAI official added.
Airports across the northeast record an average daily footfall of 24,000 people.