Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to set up a separate 50 bedded jumbo facility for the UK returnee passengers who cannot afford to get quarantined at the hotels. This comes after the civic-body learnt most of the passengers were taking detours by landing in other states and then entering Mumbai, citing that it was unaffordable for them to complete the mandatory seven-day quarantine at hotels. Civic officials said they had opened Byculla jumbo centre for institutional quarantining of incoming passengers from the Middle East and Europe, but now they will be starting a separate jumbo facility.
According to protocols issued by the BMC, passengers arriving from Europe, the Middle East and South Africa undergo screening and are later quarantined in the city hotels for seven days. They are allowed to finish the remaining seven days of quarantine reception if they test negative between the fifth and seventh day. The hotel fare is between Rs 1,500 to Rs 4,500, depending on the budget of each.
Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner said many passengers returning to Mumbai are from different state’s following which the load on the civic body is less, but they have learnt despite strict vigilance some of the passengers provide them false information so that they don’t have to be quarantined at the hotel where they have to pay from their pockets.
“There are several professionalism service-class citizens who are returning and that they have requested institutional quarantine facilities, rather than hotels. Hence, this facility is going to be available for free of charge , considering our aim is to make sure that passengers don't exploit loopholes to flee quarantine. We, at BMC, are requesting citizens to act responsibly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the health activists raised questions stating when more than 70 per cent beds at the jumbo Covid centres are being vacant then what is the need of making it separate 50 bedded jumbo facilities for the fliers from the UK and the Middle East. “The civic body should make separate wards at the jumbo covid centres where quite 50 per cent beds are vacant. Like in Seven Hills hospital they have made separate wards for fliers. Moreover, they should reduce the hotel's prices until the vaccine has not been ruled out as paying Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 will be heavy on their pockets,” said Abhijeet More, co-conveyor, Jan Arogya Abhiyaan.