Modi unveils ‘72-hour formula’ to fight coronavirus in India

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 India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday unveiled a
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday unveiled a "72-hour formula" to contain the spread of coronavirus infections, which, he said, is now confined to 10 states accounting for 80 percent of cases. — WAM photo

NEW DELHI — India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday unveiled a "72-hour formula" to contain the spread of coronavirus infections, which, he said, is now confined to 10 states accounting for 80 percent of cases.

India has 28 states and eight union territories. The new formula imposes responsibilities on Indian citizens repatriated from abroad.

Modi’s formula calls upon health workers all over the country to trace and test all those who had come in contact with an infected person within 72 hours. "This should be followed like a mantra, with the same earnestness as washing hands, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, etc.," he told chief ministers of the 10 states badly hit by the pandemic during a virtual meeting.

The meeting was held "to discuss the current situation and plan ahead for tackling the Coronavirus pandemic," according to a readout of the interaction by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Modi expressed confidence that "if the virus is defeated in these 10 states, the entire country will emerge victorious in the battle against COVID-19." The 10 states which account for a huge majority of infections are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

He said that containment, contact tracing and surveillance are the most effective weapons in this battle. "Experts now say if we identify COVID-19 cases within 72 hours of onset, then infection slows down to a great extent." This was Modi's seventh such interaction with Chief Ministers on the challenge of fighting the pandemic.

The new responsibilities under the 72-hour formula on Indian citizens being repatriated from abroad and other arriving passengers went into effect at Indian airports on Saturday.

Accordingly, all arriving passengers from abroad by air are required to submit a self-declaration form on the online portal of the landing airport at least 72 hours before their scheduled travel. Details of the declaration are available on the websites of the airport.

Passengers should give an undertaking on the portal that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days. Out of this, seven days will constitute quarantine in designated institutions, paid for by the passengers. This will be followed by a commitment of isolation at their homes for a week with self-monitoring of health conditions. Provisions have been made for rare exceptions under certain conditions. — WAM


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