With the gradual unlocking and easing of the Covid-19 situation in Pune, the city civic body has decided to stop stamping ‘home quarantine’ on the wrists of domestic passengers, as per the guidelines of the Union government.
The PMC had set up a dedicated desk at the Pune airport to screen every passenger landing at the airport and put the ‘home quarantine’ stamp on their wrists. “Since air travel began on May 23, the PMC has screened 2.25 lakh passengers, 20 per cent of them international passengers,” said Ashok Ghorpade, PMC garden superintendent who is in charge of the Covid-19 desk at the Pune airport.
The desk operates round-the-clock to ensure that every passenger who lands at the airport is screened. While the airport saw only 1,200 passengers in May, when air travel resumed after weeks of complete lockdown, now nearly 4,500 passengers land every day, said Ghorpade.
“Every passenger was asked some basic questions, and was stamped with a ‘home quarantine’ stamp, and told to stay at home for 14 days,” said Ghorpade. International passengers had to stay in institutional quarantine for a week and then in home quarantine for another week.
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“There are no restrictions for domestic travelers now,” said Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao.
“Those travelling from abroad no longer have to stay in institutional quarantine for a week if they carry a report declaring them to be Covid negative, or they test negative after landing,” said a civic officer.
Now, the civic desk at the airport has the responsibility of screening all passengers with thermal guns and collecting the Covid-19 test reports of international passengers, and send it to the district and PMC administration for further follow-up.
While Pune airport right now doesn’t see too many international flights, the civic officer said, “There are many passengers who come from abroad at various airports in the country and then take domestic flights to reach Pune. Also, there are many passengers who land at Pune airport to go to their respective homes in neighbouring districts.”
Meanwhile, the Airports Authority of India has decided to take up development work at the airport from October 26. “The airport will only be open for 12 hours in the day and all the flights landing throughout the day will arrive in that time period. But this is going to put additional pressure on civic staff at the dedicated desk,” he said.
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