After 21 people were deboarded from trains over the last three days after their fellow passengers noticed their hands stamped with the home quarantine mark, the BMC has decided to provide transport services to travellers who have been advised to undergo quarantine to their residences across the state.
It will provide small buses or taxis to transport “C-category travellers” suggested to be in home quarantine to destinations outside Mumbai but within the state, at a fee. However, those stamped “home quarantine” on their left hand and residing outside Maharashtra, will have to either stay at self-quarantine facilities at Seven Hills hospital in Mumbai and other BMC-run hospitals or pay to avail quarantine facilities at hotels.
On Thursday, 17 passengers with “home quarantine” stamps were deboarded from outstations trains on Western Railway. Six passengers were deboarded from Rajdhani Express, five from Kutch Express and six from Saurashtra Express. Four passengers were deboarded from Mumbai-Delhi Garibrath Express on Wednesday.
BMC is now planning to arrange around 15-25 non-AC buses and 20-25 taxis at Mumbai airport to transport those who have to be under home quarantine within the state but reside outside the city. If the number of passengers is big enough for a bus and the destination is over 300 km from Mumbai, bus services will be provided. However, if the destination is within 300 km and it is a small group, taxis will be arranged. However, the concerned persons shall pay for the transportation.
COVID-19 patients take seven to eight days to develop symptoms, and home isolation is advised for 14 days to ensure an infected person does not transmit the virus to others. International passengers are counselled to follow home quarantine rules, stamped at the airport, and not come in contact with others. However, ensuring they remain in quarantine is still a challenge for BMC.
Since Monday, passengers are being stamped on their fist at the airport with a line saying “Proud to protect Mumbaikars. Home quarantined”, with the date until which they have to remain in home isolation. “There are lot of queries about home quarantine. Many say how they can afford not going to work and taking a pay cut, and there are many apprehensions,” said Dr Amruta Bawaskar, assistant medical health officer, G/North ward.
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