Southern states insist on institutional quarantine for domestic air passengers with exemptions

National
Typography

The civil aviation ministry’s decision to resume domestic flights from May 25 without insisting on quarantine for passengers has not gone down well with the southern states. Most of them have insisted on institutional quarantine for the passengers.  

The civil aviation ministry’s decision to resume domestic flights from May 25 without insisting on quarantine for passengers has not gone down well with the southern states. Most of them have insisted on institutional quarantine for the passengers.  

While Tamil Nadu is not at all in favour of restarting the flight operation at least until May 31, the governments of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka have decided that arriving passengers will have to stay in quarantine with certain exemptions.

Tamil Nadu is one of the states that has been badly affected by the coronavirus. As of Friday morning, the state had reported 13,967 infections, including 94 deaths, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary K Shanmugam told The Times of India that the state will write to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. “We cannot handle the passengers,” he said. “They are talking about 60 flights a day, which means 12,000 passengers a day. All of them must be tested and put into institutional quarantine as per protocol. For that, we will require two lakh quarantine facilities. Testing 12,000 passengers a day is impossible

As far as Kerala is concerned, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said barring those coming for business needs, all those who reach the state by such flights will have to undergo 14 days home quarantine as per the lockdown protocol.

"Some business executives may visit the state for a meeting or something and we cannot demand 14 days quarantine for them," Pinarayi said, adding that necessary health precautions will be taken in their case.

The Karnataka government has made quarantine mandatory for all passengers coming from worst-hit states like Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.  The government on Friday issued a fresh standard operating procedure for inter-state travellers, which mandates the same.

The state has already made institutional quarantine compulsory for those coming via road and rail from high-prevalence states for a period of 7 days. The swab samples of these persons will be taken from the fifth to seventh day, according to the SOP.

If the test results come back negative, then these persons can return home and will have to be in home quarantine for the next seven days.

However, passengers returning from states other than the ones mentioned above will have to be in home quarantine for 14 days upon returning.

The number of COVID-19 cases are increasing in Karnataka because of people returning from states like Maharashtra and Gujarat. On Friday, the state reported 138 new cases of COVID-19, and 111 of these cases were people who had returned from Maharashtra.

Image Credit: Indianawaz.com

All Comments