In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state, the Karnataka government has decided to implement stringent measures that begin at the airport itself. Following the Maharashtra government, the Karnataka government, too, has now decided to mark those who have been instructed to remain in home quarantine with a stamp.
According to Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Commissioner for the state Health and Family Welfare Services, passengers have not been following instructions of strict home quarantine for 14 days, and hence, such a measure was being adopted.
Depending on the symptoms and the thermal screening at the airport, the state government will classify all passengers arriving at the airports in the state.
- Group A, the highest risk classification is for those who reach the airport showing symptoms.
- Group B, moderate risk are for passengers who do not display any symptoms but come from a country where there is a high chance of contracting coronavirus.
- Group C is low risk and passengers classified under this will be allowed to go home but with strict instructions to stay under home quarantine.
Group B and C passengers arriving in the airports in Karnataka will be allowed to go home but they will be marked with an indelible stamp on the left hand, which indicates the last date of their quarantine.
According to a government order by Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Commissioner for state Health and Family Welfare Services, â€śInternational passengers, who are arriving in Karnataka are being segregated as symptomatic and asymptomatic. The symptomatic passengers (Group A) are being taken to designated hospitals for necessary treatment while asymptomatic passengers, depending on the port of origin, are either being taken to the quarantine centre or permitted to go on home quarantine.â€ť
Passengers who are asymptomatic will be divided as moderate risk (Group B) passengers or low risk (Group C) passengers.
Moderate risk passengers will be kept at a mass quarantine centre for medical observation, while the low-risk passengers will be sent for home quarantine, â€śwhere they need to follow 14 days of strict home quarantineâ€ť, the order said.
The move to mark passengers under home-quarantined with a stamp is expected to alert the public, especially regarding those individuals who have been given strict instructions. The move, first taken by the Maharashtra government, has reportedly already proven effective. Some were able to alert the authorities about such quarantined passengers upon viewing the stamp on their hands.
Four Germany-returned passengers with the 'home quarantine' stamp on their hands were de-boarded from the Bandra Terminus-Delhi Garibrath Express train at Palghar station, around 100 kilometres from Mumbai, on Wednesday after co-passengers raised an alarm, the Western Railway said.
The four passengers were de-boarded from coach number G4 and G5 of 12216 Garibrath at Palghar station when the travel ticket examiner and co-passengers raised an alarm after seeing the stamp on their hands, a Western Railway (WR) spokesperson said.
"They had arrived from Germany and were headed to Surat," the spokesperson said. The four passengers were screened at the Mumbai international airport, where they were found negative for coronavirus. However, they were advised 14 days of home quarantine, as mentioned in the stamp on their hands, the official said.
After being de-boarded, they were taken to a government hospital in Palghar, he said.
"The doctor and the local authorities checked them and later allowed them to go ahead by road," he added.
The railway authorities said that the Garibrath Express does not have a halt at Palghar, but when the passengers raised alarm after seeing the stamp on their hands, the train was given an unscheduled halt there.
(With PTI inputs)