Amidst the huge global scare over a new strain of COVID-19 virus detected in the United Kingdom (UK), the Maharashtra government has beefed up its defences. The state government on Monday announced mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine for passengers arriving from the Middle East and Europe as a precautionary step amid growing concerns over a new coronavirus variant.
The Maharashtra government has instructed municipal commissioners to arrange for hotels and separate hospitals to quarantine passengers arriving at international airports in their respective jurisdictions. The state government has asked civic bodies to arrange for separate hospitals for passengers coming from European countries and showing symptoms of the new coronavirus variant.
The decision was taken at a meeting Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held with senior bureaucrats and COVID Task Force officials on Monday evening to discuss a precautionary move to ensure the new strain does not sneak into the state.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has released a list of quarantine guidelines for passengers arriving from Middle-East and European countries.
Here are the guidelines:
1. All the passengers arriving from Middle-East/European countries should be subjected to mandatory institutional quarantine at their own cost, in the nearby hotels for seven days.
2. If the passenger is found symptomatic on arrival, then he will be shifted directly to G.T.Hospital, Fort, Mumbai for further evaluation and treatment.
3. On arrival, no RT-PCR test will be conducted. However, the RT-PCR test will be conducted during the 5th to 7th day at the hotels at the cost of the quarantined passengers. If the report of the test is found negative, the passenger would be discharged from the institutional quarantine after 5 to 7 days with the advice of 7 days mandatory Home Quarantine. If the test result is found positive but the passenger is asymptomatic then he will be continued in the same hotel in quarantine or in the COVID-19 Hospital for 14 days.
4. Arrangements to be made by BEST to transport all the passengers coming from these countries to the hotels.
5. Arrangements of approximately, 4000 rooms will be required daily for passengers arriving from these countries. The charges of the hotels will be borne by the passengers as per their choice of hotels.
6. The passports of all the passengers will be deposited with the hotel and returned at the time of discharge from the hotel quarantine.
7. PPE kits to be provided to Immigration Officers as well as everyone working on the airport by Mumbai International Airport Ltd.
8. The arrangement for the testing of these passengers to be made through linking of private laboratories to the quarantine hotels and the same will be charged to the passengers.
9. Collector MSD will monitor the operations and depute suitable teams for its monitoring.
10. These guidelines are applicable to all passengers arriving at Mumbai International Airport from Middle-East and European Countries irrespective of their further travel plans, till further orders.