Random COVID Testing at Delhi Airport, Quarantine for Those +Ve
All railway stations and bus terminals have also been instructed to do the same via an order dated 23 March.
Random COVID-19 testing of passengers coming from the states where cases are increasing will be conducted at the Delhi Airport from Wednesday, 31 March.
"After collections of samples, the travellers would be allowed to exit. However, the passengers who are found to be positive shall be mandatorily quarantined as per the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare protocol," the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said in a statement on Wednesday.
All airports, railway stations and bus terminals have also been instructed to do the same via an order dated 23 March.
All district magistrates, their counterpart district DCPs and all authorities concerned have been instructed, via the DDMA order, to mandatorily ensure strict compliance with this order and to adequately inform and sensitise field functionaries about these instructions, in letter and spirit.
Those violating the instructions will be proceeded against as per Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code and other applicable laws, read the order.
Concerned district magistrates have also been asked to take appropriate action as per health protocol prevailing in the NCT of Delhi, with regards to screening, testing, isolation, surveillance, etc.
The 23 March order came a day after the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) held a meeting with the Lieutenant Governor, Chief Minister, Health Minister, Chief Secretary and other senior officials, to formulate strategies to fight the virus in Delhi.
In the meeting, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal reportedly stressed upon the need for more caution and regulation in view of the upcoming festivals. He had also said that random testing at airports and railway stations needed to be done, particularly of passengers coming from states with high incidences of COVID cases.
Union Ministry’s Guidelines for Domestic Travel
While noting that the State can also develop their own protocol with regard to quarantine and isolation, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also, on 24 March, doled out the following guidelines for domestic travel, which includes travel by air, trains and inter-state buses:
- Dos and Don’ts shall be provided along with tickets to the travellers by the agencies concerned.
- All passengers shall be advised to download Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.
- Suitable announcement about COVID-19, including precautionary measures to be followed, shall be made at airports/railway station/bus terminals and in flights/trains/buses.
- States/UTs shall ensure that all passengers undergo thermal screening at the point of departure and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the flight/train/bus.
- During boarding and travel, all passengers shall use face covers/masks. They will also follow hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and maintain environmental hygiene.
- At airports/railway stations/bus terminals required measures to ensure social distancing shall be taken.
- Airports/railway stations/bus terminals should be regularly sanitised/disinfected and availability of soaps and sanitisers shall be ensured.
- Thermal screening at exit points shall be arranged.
- Asymptomatic passengers will be permitted to go with the advice that they shall self-monitor their health for 14 days. In case they develop any symptoms, they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call centre (1075).
- Those found symptomatic will be isolated and taken to the nearest health facility. They will be assessed for clinical severity at the facility.
- Those having moderate or sever symptoms will be admitted to dedicated COVID health facilities and managed accordingly.
- Those having mild symptoms will be given the option of home isolation or isolated at the COVID Care Centre (both public and private facilities), as per ICMR protocol (available on the official MoHFW website).
If tested positive, they will continue in the COVID Care Centre and will be managed as per clinical protocol. If tested negative, the passengers may be allowed to go home, isolate himself/herself and self-monitor his/her health for further seven days.
In case any symptoms develop, they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call centre (1075).
Steady Increase in Cases
This comes as the national capital has seen a steady increase in the number of daily coronavirus cases over the last few days.
On Tuesday, Delhi had reported 992 new infections and four fatalities, taking the tally to 6,60,611 and the death toll to 11,016, respectively. However, the positivity rate stood at 2.70 percent, with only 36,757 tests conducted.
India's coronavirus trajectory has seen a rapid rise in the last few days, in what is being called the 'second wave' of the pandemic, with Maharashtra leading the surge. Among other states which are reporting high numbers are Gujarat and Punjab.
On Wednesday, the country reported 53,480 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 1,21,49,335. The death toll increased by 354 to 1,62,468.
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