BMC mulls home quarantine for domestic air, train passengers arriving in MumbaiUpdated: May 21, 2020 23:51 IST
With the Central government planning to resume domestic flights from Monday, and 200 trains from June 1, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) anticipates an increased passenger influx in the city.
With this in mind, BMC is planning to screen all passengers on arrival and home quarantine them for 14 days.
The civic body opines that institutional quarantine for those arriving via domestic flights will pose a challenge considering the hotel rooms have to be kept for incoming international passengers and increasing cases in Mumbai. However, BMC has maintained that discussions between the state government and Centre on the same will take place to formalise the guidelines for those coming to Mumbai via domestic flights and trains.
“We have been quarantining international travellers at hotels, and currently around 1,040 of the 2,300 rooms are occupied. However, we will require these rooms for more international passengers considering the Central government plans to operate more repatriation flights under mission Vande Bharat. Also, the number of local cases may increase in the future, for which we need these hotel rooms,” said a BMC official.
“The demand to accommodate frontline staff is also increasing. Hence, those without symptoms and arriving in Mumbai via domestic flights will be home quarantined for 14 days,” the official added.
At present, international travellers have been quarantined at hotels, and those arriving in the city via train are being home quarantined. BMC is screening all travelers arriving in the city via train or flight.
Domestic flights are expected to resume from May 25 and from June 1, Indian Railways will operate mail trains to Mumbai.
P Velrasu, additional municipal commissioner, said, “We have not drafted any guidelines yet. Aviation operations are under the Central government, and the discussions to restart will happen with the state government. We will take a call on the same after getting directions from the state government. However, we will prefer to have those arriving in the city via domestic flights to be home quarantined for 14 days.”
Meanwhile, BMC has issued a circular stating that all international passengers arriving in Mumbai, who are being quarantined at hotels, will be compulsorily tested before getting discharged. Starting May 10, more than 2,000 passengers have arrived in the city from countries like UK, US, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, etc. “All passengers from international destinations will compulsorily be tested before completion of 14 days of quarantine. The charges payable for the test will be borne by the passenger. If the result is negative, the patient shall be released,” the circular states.
“They shall quarantine themselves in a separate room and follow social distancing measures. The passengers released will have to be home quarantined with a stamp. If the passenger is tested positive, the test shall be repeated on the seventh day. [The patient will be] released if tested negative. Under no circumstances shall the passenger be released from the hotel until the swab results come negative,” the circular adds.