Covid-19: CISF to go for contactless frisking of passengers at airports, Delhi metro
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is preparing new standard operating procedures (SOPs) for operations at airports and the Delhi Metro after the lockdown that are expected to include contactless frisking and fewer passengers in each coach.
The SOPs will also include use of the Aarogya Setu app to identify Covid-19 patients passing through security gates, officials familiar with developments said.
For CISF personnel, who come in direct contact with hundreds of thousands of travellers every day at metro stations and airports, the force has plans for them to sanitise their hands after every two or three travellers. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to all personnel and X-ray machines and other equipment will be regularly sanitised, the officials said.
CISF director general Rajesh Ranjan told HT: “Essentially, we want to make sure our men and commuters are protected from Covid-19 to the best possible extent without compromising on safety. We are looking at changing the process for access to airports and metro stations.
“The SOPs are in the final stages and will be sent to the civil aviation ministry and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) soon.”
Ranjan added, “We are exploring the use of contactless frisking as much as we can. However, it will not be possible to make it fully contactless and pat-down searches will depend on person to person.”
Business outlets within metro stations, such as food stalls, will have additional access control for their personnel while CISF personnel will be informed about safety measures they have to follow, both while on duty and after going back to their barracks.
An interesting aspect of CISF’s new SOP for the Delhi Metro is the reduction of passengers in each coach by at least half so that distancing norms are followed. Each coach usually has about 50 to 60 people during rush hours.
At airports, another official said, the CISF is considering suggesting to the government that passengers be asked to download the Aarogya Setu app before coming to the airport for a colour-coded risk analysis for identifying Covid-19 patients. All CISF personnel across the country have already downloaded the application.
Passengers will also be asked to sanitise their hands at pre-embarkation security check points and in the security hold area.
The paramilitary force is likely to advise airlines to provide small bottles of hand sanitiser to passengers once they pass the security hold area since CISF doesn’t allow liquids to get across at airport security check points.
The SOPs pertaining to queues and distancing, use of PPEs, gloves and masks will also be followed in government facilities where CISF is deployed.
The force is augmenting its stock of face-masks, gloves, alcohol-based sanitisers and PPEs so as to have sufficient numbers available for an initial period of three months.
Apart from this, almost all 349 units of CISF across the country are distributing face-masks, sanitisers, dry soaps, dry rations or cooked meals to the underprivileged in surrounding areas while maintaining proper hygiene and distancing, said CISF spokesperson Hemendra Singh.