Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh is noting details of each and every passenger arriving through bus, train or plane even before they travel, on a website. On arrival, they are being sent to institutional or home quarantine. Testing for COVID-19 is being taken up extensively and the results decide on the extent of quarantine at home, institution or whether to be sent to the designated health centres.
Delhi government too has notified that passengers arriving by rains, buses or planes should go for a one-week mandatory quarantine. However, the situation here is different. While international visitors at airport are being sent for mandatory institutional quarantine in the designated hotels, domestic passengers are being checked for temperatures with thermal screeners and allowed to go.
“Only those found symptomatic among the domestic arrivals or departures will be handed over to the health authorities concerned as per the government orders and till date there is no such case,” informed airport sources, when asked.
Interestingly, at the Secunderabad railway station, TS medical and health department officials have been camping, taking down details of every passenger coming through the special trains from New Delhi and Bengaluru from mid-May onwards and stamping ‘home quarantine’ on the hands.
However, the practice has been dispensed with once the railways started running more special trains from different parts of the country June 1 onwards! “We are only screening the boarding passengers for temperature checks. There has been no sign of the TS health officials for last couple of days; so there is no surveillance of the passengers arriving here,” informed senior railway officials, on condition of anonymity.
An estimated 80,000 passengers have arrived in Secunderabad and Hyderabad (Nampally) stations from Monday onwards already and it could cross one lakh by Friday morning, they added.
Sources in the State Health department confirmed that they have stopped screening, taking down details of passengers at Secunderabad Railway Station from June 1. “It was discontinued after relaxations on other services were implemented,” sources said.
(With inputs by K. Shiva Shanker)