Three inbound passengers test positive for COVID

After the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started screening outstation passengers coming to the city, three were tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. The decision to screen outstation passengers coming to Mumbai was taken after a rise in COVID-19 cases in Delhi-NCR, Gujrat, Ahmedabad and Goa.

A total 13,953 passengers have been screened on Thursday at major railway stations in Mumbai. However, there was no stampede like situation at any railway station.

The highest number of passengers – 3,821 – was screened at Borivli station followed by Mumbai Central (3,236). No pandemic cases were detected in these two stations during the screening process.

Further, 3,010 passengers were screened at Bandra station, in which one positive case was detected. As many as 1,321 passengers were screened at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, 1,239 at Dadar (2 COVID-19 cases detected) AND at CSMT, 626 passengers were screened.

On Wednesday, a stampede-like situation had occurred at Bandra Terminus following which the Western Railway (WR) had issued a statement, stating the crowding was a result of flouting of the prescribed standard operating procedures (SOP) by the BMC.

“Initially, the authorities of BMC started conducting 100 percent Rapid Antigen tests of all passengers which was not as per SOP issued by BMC. It resulted in mass assembly of passengers in the subway,” stated the WR statement.

It was brought to their notice by the railway authorities that as per the SOP according to BMC circular, passengers without symptoms would be allowed to go home while passengers who displayed symptoms shall be segregated and made to undergo Rapid Antigen test. Later on, the BMC started following the provisions of SOP regarding asymptomatic passengers which also eased the situation. Also, initially two testing booths were set up by BMC. On request of railway authorities, the number of booths was increased to six to speed up the testing.

As per guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government, passengers have to produce a negative RT-PCR report even on landing at airports in Maharashtra. The test should have been done 72 hours prior to the scheduled journey.

According to BMC officials, incoming passengers from the four states were screened at the city airport. However, only those passengers not carrying negative reports were made to undergo RT-PCR tests, for which the data will be available by Thursday.

Meanwhile, those travelling by roads to Maharashtra, too, will have to undergo screening at the borders check posts. People with symptoms will have to undergo an antigen test. If found positive, travellers will be admitted to COVID care centres and would have to bear the treatment cost.

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Free Press Journal