Mumbai: A day after four passengers carrying the ‘home quarantine’ imprint on their hands were de-boarded at Palghar sta-tion, in a replay on Thursday, 17 people were forced to alight from three long-distance trains at Borivli, Palghar and Surat.
Six passengers on the Saurashtra Express were de-boarded at Borivli; another six on board the Rajdhani were made to disembark at Surat; and five were evicted from the Kutch Express at Palghar.
All the 17 were returning from abroad and had received the 'home quarantine' stamp at Mumbai international airport. According to railway officials, six people had returned from Singapore and from the airport, they had proceeded to Mumbai Central to catch the Saurashtra Express to Vadodara, on one-way tickets.
“They were in the B1 and B2 coaches and detected by alert Western Railway officials and co-passengers. They were offloaded at Borivli station and handed over to a medical team,” he said.
It is the second such incident in the last 24 hours, after four students coming from Germany were de-boarded at Palghar on Wednesday after they were detected travelling with the 14-day ‘quarantine’ stamp.
In addition to this, a lady with a quarantine stamp was not allowed to board the Avantika Express from Mumbai Central on Thursday evening. It is not clear how in each case, the 'stamped' passengers managed to evade the attention of the Mumbai health authorities, reached the railway station, booked tickets, boarded the train and travelled unhindered for over an hour before being offloaded.
On March 16, the Maharashtra government had implemented the decision to ‘stamp’ all people arriving from COVID-19 affected countries and ask them to observe 14 days’ compulsory home isolation, as a precautionary measure.
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted saying that following repeated instances of people fleeing quarantine/isolation, the home ministry is constrained to ask the state police to act against such offenders endangering themselves and everyone else under the Epidemic Diseases Act.
“To discourage people from skipping home quarantine, the Maharashtra police has been ordered to initiate action against such persons under the Epidemic Diseases Act,” said an official.