Delhi: The Delhi government has made two-week quarantine mandatory for people coming from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after a new variant of COVID virus was detected in the two states. However, those fully vaccinated or with negative RTPCR shall have to go for 7-day home quarantine

The reason for this new order is said to be a new variant found in Andhra Pradesh. "Virulent variant of COVID-19 is reported to have been found recently in the State of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and this new strain of COVID-19 has a shorter incubation period with a high transmission rate and the progress of the disease is much more rapid in this strain and therefore, additional precautionary measures in respect of the persons coming from the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to NCT of Delhi through Airlines/Trains/Buses/Cars/Trucks or any other mode of transportation are required to be taken in public interest with the objective that this new virulent strain of COVID-19 should not enter and transmit into the territory of NCT of Delhi," said the Delhi government.

But, the Andhra Pradesh government has clarified that there is no data to suggest that N440K is a variant of interest and is very virulent. On 6 May, the government issued a clarification stating that N440K strain of coronavirus (B.1.36) was detected in June-July last year from samples collected from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana.

"This strain was prevalent in December 2020 and January and February 2021 and dropped down drastically in March and now the share of N440K among the positives is very minimal," it added. Two major strains of the virus - B.1.617 and B.1 - were identified from the samples taken from the three states, according to April data. They are highly infectious and are also spreading among the younger age groups, the notice stated.

What does the new order say?

All persons arriving from the State of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in NCT of Delhi by Airlines/Trains/Buses/Cars/Trucks or any other modes of transportation shall have to undergo mandatory Government institutional quarantine I paid quarantine for 14 days at facilities established / identified by the concerned District Magistrate.

Any person who has been successfully vaccinated (two doses) and produces a certificate to the effect or having negative RT-PCR Report (not older than 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey) shall be allowed home quarantine for 7 days. If no suitable facility for home quarantine is available with the person, he/ she may opt for institutional / paid quarantine in identified facilities for 7 days.

In case of non-compliance of the protocol/ guidelines / SOPs pertaining to home quarantine prescribed by MoHFW, such persons shall be quarantined in Government institutional facilities for 7 days.

It shall be the responsibility of the concerned District Magistrate of Delhi to ensure compliance with instructions. They should take necessary action as per health protocol / SOPs prevailing in NCT of Delhi with regard to screening, testing, home quarantine, isolation, surveillance etc.

In respect of those persons arriving from the State of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and checking into State Bhawans situated in NCT of Delhi, the Resident Commissioner of respective State Bhawan shall be responsible for ensuring the compliance of instructions.

In respect of those people arriving from the State of AP and TS and checking into hotels, resorts, hostels, homestays, dormitories etc. m NCT of Delhi, the owner of the above-mentioned places shall be responsible for ensuring the compliance of instructions.

In respect of persons traveling from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to other States through NCT of Delhi by road shall be allowed without disembarking from the vehicle en-route inside NCT of Delhi.

The instructions contained shall be applicable to those persons who want to travel from the State of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to other States through NCT of Delhi by Air/Train. It shall be the responsibility of the concerned District Magistrate and District DCP to ensure compliance with the aforesaid instructions.

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