Amid fears of a new fast-spreading coronavirus strain which has gone "out of control" in the United Kingdom (UK), the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government on Monday decided to impose a night curfew in all municipal corporations in the state from December 22 to January 5. The curfew will be imposed from 11 pm to 6 am.
Meanwhile, a press release from the Maharashtra government stated that passengers arriving from all over Europe and the Middle East will be mandatorily required to undergo institutional quarantine for 14 days after landing at the airport. They will also be required to subject themselves to to RT-PCR testing on the fifth or seventh day after quarantine.
Here are the new COVID-19 rules in Maharashtra for passengers arriving from the Middle Eastern countries, as detailed by the government press release:
• 14 days institutional quarantine has been made mandatory for passengers arriving from the Middle East.
• These passengers will be subjected to RT-PCR testing on the fifth or seventh day after quarantine.
• They will be released home only after completing their quarantine period.
• The Municipal Commissioners at the airports where international flights land have been instructed to arrange hotels and independent hospitals for quarantining such passengers.
• The Chief Minister has specifically asked for PPE kits to be arranged for all airport staff checking passengers from the concerned countries.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has also directed to set up a separate hospital for passengers from Europe if they have symptoms of the new virus," read a press release from the government.
"Passengers from other countries will be checked and stamped with their hands and will be home quarantined. The Chief Minister also directed to provide PPE kits to all airport staff checking passengers from European countries, Middle East countries," the release added.
Earlier in the day, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation suspended all flights from the UK and vice versa from Wednesday to December 31 in view of the new strain of the virus. With today’s decision, about 100 flights originating from UK and landing at various Indian airports stand cancelled.
On the other hand, union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan after an urgent meeting of the joint monitoring group said the government is fully alert about the new strain of coronavirus reported in the United Kingdom. He called upon the people that "there's no need to panic."