In the wake of several cases of passengers bearing the ‘home quarantine’ imprint on their hands being de-boarded from passenger trains at Borivli, Palghar and Surat, and with a shortage of quarantine facilities expected for those landing at the Mumbai airport, arrangements are now being put in place to facilitate the transportation of such persons to their hometowns via buses and taxis from the airport.
According to an official order, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner, Praveen Pardeshi has discussed the ‘increasing load of persons to be kept in quarantine in Mumbai who are landing at Mumbai airport’.
“It was explained to the Chief Secretary that Mumbai will be falling short of rooms to accommodate this increasing number of passengers. It was, therefore, decided to allow to shift the persons if the number is big enough for buses and if their destinations are within 300 kms from Mumbai,” the order states.
“If their number is small and the distance is more than 300 kms, they may be sent by taxis to their respective destinations. The concerned persons should pay for the travel expenses,” it adds.
As per the order, the Mumbai Suburban Collector has been asked to requisition and keep ready 15-25 non-AC buses and 20-25 taxis for this purpose. The Collector has also been asked to requisition hotels who have not voluntarily offered their rooms for quarantining the persons.
The BMC has been categorising travellers arriving in the city from foreign countries into three groups to decide on who needs to be quarantined at a hospital and who can be isolated at home.
Those coming from affected countries and showing symptoms like fever, cough and cold are being classified as Category A, and sent directly for isolation and testing to the Kasturba Hospital.
Those with no symptoms but having co-morbid conditions and are senior citizens are classified as Category B, while those with a travel history and no symptoms are Category C.
Category B patients are admitted to a quarantine facility and their swabs are taken. Category C people are screened and home quarantined after necessary counselling. Those in home quarantine are supposed to be that way for next 14 days.