Nearly 13,000 passengers arriving from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa were screened for Covid-19 at Dadar, Mumbai Central and other railway stations on Wednesday. According to civic data, so far, 9,779 passengers were tested, of whom ten were found Covid-positive and were immediately taken to the nearest care centres.
This comes after a directive was issued to ward officials by the BMC on Tuesday to deploy staff at railway stations in the metropolis to check the 'Covid-19 negative' certificates of passengers arriving from these four states.
According to data provided by the Western Railway, until 5pm on Wednesday of the 12,932 passengers screened for coronavirus, 1,722 were tested after they showed symptoms related to corona, of which only eight were corona positive.
“In accordance with the protocol issued by the civic body, health desks have been set up at all the major railway stations where long-distance trains arrive and depart from. Six passengers were tested positive at Bandra Terminus and one each at Dadar and Borivli railway stations.All the passengers who tested positive for corona have been taken to the nearest Covid centre or hospitals for further treatment,” said a railway official.
However, some passengers complained that only one oximeter is being used, which is not even sanitised afterwards, which could cause a spread of the virus. “We were asked to wait in a queue where social distancing was not observed. The health staff is using one oximeter for all, without sanitising it. We don’t know which passengers have symptoms or health issues, so the least the health staff could do is to sanitise the oximeter after every use,” said Satyam Singh, resident of Andheri.
Health activists have welcomed the move, saying it would help identify Covid-positive patients and control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. “All these steps should have been taken long ago when corona cases in the city had peaked. But it's a good initiative which should be followed strictly until cases are totally under control,” an activist said.
The Maharashtra government, on Monday, issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) making an 'RT-PCR negative' report mandatory for domestic air, rail and road travellers arriving from these four states.
The SOP also stated that "passengers not testing or found COVID-19 positive shall be sent to COVID Care Centres (CCC)", with the cost of further care to be borne by passengers.