No thermal scanner at Chandigarh International Airport yet

Published on Mar 19, 2020 11:28 PM IST

Department is scanning passengers with primitive thermometers; DC says there was a problem of funds but now it will be purchased under corporate social responsibility

Passengers seen wearing safety masks as they come out of the international airport in Mohali.(Gurminder Singh/Hindustan Times)
Passengers seen wearing safety masks as they come out of the international airport in Mohali.(Gurminder Singh/Hindustan Times)
Hindustan Times, Mohali and Ambala | By, Mohali/ambala

Even though Mohali deputy commissioner Girish Dayalan has ordered that all passengers arriving at the Chandigarh international airport would be screened for COVID-19, the health department has failed to buy a thermal scanner.

In the absence of a thermal scanner, the department is scanning passengers with primitive thermometers, which can be a logistics nightmare. Thermal cameras can scan large crowds and spot people with higher temperature than the rest, thereby saving on time. Once authorities identify the possibly infected persons, they can segregate them for further screening.

Mohali officiating deputy commissioner Aashika Jain had on March 5 directed the health department to immediately buy thermal scanners, costing around 15 lakh, but two weeks on, it has failed to do so.

DC Girish Dayalan said, “There was some issue of funds for buying a thermal scanner but now we have asked the industry to buy one under the corporate social responsibility.”

QUARANTINE PLANS

DC Dayalan said that those who would be at high risk would be quarantined at designated hospitals and quarantine facilities under the surveillance of the health department. Those found asymptomatic would be home quarantined for a period of 14 days. All such people would be stamped on their wrists to indicate the last day of quarantine.

People have the option of being quarantined at designated hotels, including Hotel Majestic in Phase 9, Hotel Cama in Phase 3A (Mohali), Hotel Almeda and Velvet Clarke in Zirakpur and Hotel Arista in Sunny Enclave and Hotel Royal in Landran road in Kharar. They will, however, have to pay on their own. Police and enforcement teams would maintain strict vigil at these hotels and the health parameters of the quarantined people would be monitored by the civil surgeon and the district nodal officer.

Strict action would be taken against those found violating home quarantine. In larger public interest, the list of the home quarantined people would be put up on www.sasnagar.gov.in.

From March 20, all passengers, including Indians and foreign nationals, arriving at the Chandigarh International Airport from Dubai and Sharjah will be quarantined for 24 hours.

The district administration has issued a helpline number 9876733423, which will be functional all through the day.

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