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Maharashtra Agrees To Some Domestic Flights From Monday; Centre Issues International Arrival Guidelines

by Amitabh Joshi 10 months ago Views 1300

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The Maharashtra goverment has agreed to allow 25 domestic flights to and from Mumbai, said Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik..

Maharashtra has been strongly opposing the resumption of domestic flights from Monday. The state is reeling under the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the country, with over 47,000 cases.


Maharashtra’s Home Minister, Anil Deshmukh, earlier on Sunday said in a tweet that “It’s extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone. Mere thermal scanning of passengers inadequate w/o swabs. Impossible to have autos/cabs/buses ply in current circumstances. Adding positive passenger will add Covid stress to red zone”.

Deshmukh said that getting passengers to come from a green zone to a red one putting them to risk of exposure doesn't make sense. “Keeping a busy airport up and running with all Covid-safety measures will need huge staff presence and compound risk in the red zone”, he added.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has indicated that the state lockdown may extend beyond May 31.

(Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray) 

“We can't say that lockdown will be over by May 31. We will have to see how we will go forward”, he said in an address to people in the state. He also said he had spoken to the Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, that the state needed more time to prepare.

The Civil Aviation Minister had earlier on Saturday indicated that there was a mismatch with some states regarding resumption of flights, with no response coming from them beforehand when asked about their concerns.Tamil Nadu has already expressed concerns over starting domestic air travel.

The situation brings to a head a conflict between the Centre and mass confusion for passengers.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday issued guidelines for international flight arrivals which include an undertaking that they will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine period. This comes a day after the Civil Aviation Minister said that the government could resume international flights even by June-July.

Here are the full guidelines:

i.Before boarding, all travellers shall give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days - 7 days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by 7 days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health.

ii. Only for exceptional and compelling reasons such as cases of human distress, pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parent(s) accompanied by children below 10 years, as assessed by the receiving states, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days. Use of Aarogya Setu app shall be mandatory in such cases.

iii. Dos and Don'ts shall be provided along with ticket to the travelers by the agencies concerned.

iv. All passengers shall be advised to download Arogya Setu app on their mobile devices.

v. At the time of boarding the flight/ ship, only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.

vi. Passengers arriving through the land borders will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, and only those who are asymptomatic will be enabled to cross the border into India.

vii. Self-declaration form in duplicate shall be filled by the person in the flight/ship and a copy of the same will be given to Health and Immigration officials present at the airport/ seaport/ Iandport. The form may also be made available on Aarogya Setu app.

viii. Suitable precautionary measures such as environmental sanitation and disinfection shall be ensured at the airports as well as within the flights.

ix. During boarding and at the airports, all possible measures to ensure social distancing to be ensured.

x. Suitable announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports/port and in flights/ships and during transit.

xi. While on board the flight/ ship, required precautions such as wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc. are to be observed by airline/ ship staff, crew and all passengers.

xii. On arrival, thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the Health officials present at the airport/ seaport/ Iandport.

xiii. The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol.

xiv. The remaining passengers shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities, to be arranged by the respective State/ UT Governments.

xv. These passengers shall be kept under institutional quarantine for a minimum period of 7 days. They shall be tested as per ICMR protocol available at

https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Revisedtestingguidelines.pdf

If they test positive, they shall be assessed clinically.

a. If they are assessed as mild cases, they will be allowed home isolation or isolated in the Covid Care Centre (both public & private facilities) as appropriate.

b. Those having moderate or severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated COVID Health facilities and managed accordingly.

If found negative, they shall be advised to further isolate themselves at home and self-monitor their health for 7 days.

xvi. In case, any symptoms develop they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call center (1075).

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