An acknowledgement receipt is issued by the officer receiving the passport, that it will be returned once the home quarantine period is completed.

To ensure quarantine Telangana govt collects passports of foreign returneesImage for representation:
Coronavirus Coronavirus Friday, March 27, 2020 - 13:55

In a move to ensure that foreign returnees in the state do not violate their home quarantine period in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities in Telangana are taking away their passports.

This comes after there were complaints of several people disregarding the mandatory 'home quarantine' as per the standard protocol.

In tune with government orders which have enforced a lockdown in the state till April 16 to contain the spread of coronavirus, authorities are using provisions under section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 which empower the state government to take decisions and measures that are deemed necessary to prevent the outbreak of a disease. Citing this, the state government has issued orders empowering Collectors and District Magistrates to collect the passports of foreign returnees.

Revenue Divisional Officers and Executive Magistrates were ordered to oversee the procedure. Several passports have already been collected across the districts of the districts.

An order from Nizamabad District Collector said, "It is felt necessary to take certain steps to ensure that the orders for Home Quarantine are followed scrupulously so as to prevent the further spread of COVID19."

"It is hereby ordered that all such persons (foreign returnees) shall hand over their passports to an officer authorised...and a proper acknowledgment shall be issued by the officer receiving the passport. The passport shall be held in the custody of the undersigned for the balance period of the Home Quarantine imposed," the order adds.

Speaking to TNM, Jagtial District Collector G Ravi Kumar said, "It is a state-wide order given by the government. We have already started collecting the passports from Wednesday. Almost 50% of the collection is done. The remaining will also be collected as concerned officials visit the people in quarantine." According to the Collector, people who came from other states were also being asked to remain in isolation.

According to Rajanna Siricilla District Collector, the officials have collected 703 passports of people who came from different countries.

Collector Krishna Bhaskar told TNM, "They are being collected according to government instructions and an acknowledgement is being given that they will be returned after the quarantine period."

The state government has intensified measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 as the number of positive cases has reached 45. Revenue and medical officials are reaching out to people who arrived in villages from neighbouring states and big cities and urging them to be in isolation in view of the situation.

The state government is also filing cases against those who violate the quarantine. Five persons were booked in Hyderabad last week under Sections 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal COde (IPC).

In a press note on Friday, the GHMC said that 16 persons who violated their home qurantine period have been shifted to government designated quarantine centers.


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