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Pune: Every passenger coming from abroad to undergo compulsory 24-hour quarantine from tomorrow

Until now, the policy adopted in case of passengers of international flights was to screen them for COVID-19 related symptoms and examine their recent travel history.

Written by Atikh Rashid | Pune | Published: March 18, 2020 12:05:52 am
Pune: Restaurants, bars to close from Wednesday to Friday Passengers are taken from the Pune airport to an isolation facility. (File Photo: Arul Horizon)

From Thursday, every international passenger arriving at Pune airport will have to undergo compulsory 24-hour institutionalised quarantine at a government facility. Following completion of the 24-hour period, the health officials will decide if the passenger should be sent home for ‘self quarantine’ or kept in institutalised quarantine for 14-days, said officials.

Until now, the policy adopted in case of passengers of international flights was to screen them for COVID-19 related symptoms and examine their recent travel history. If they didn’t raise any concern, they were allowed to go home with an advise to remain in home quarantine. From Thursday, the policy will change as every passenger will be held at the institutional quarantine for a full day.

Pune, at present, has just one international connection – Dubai – from where a total of 10 flights arrive every week. The flights bring, on an average, about 150 to 250 passengers per day which, since the coronavirus outbreak, has dwindled to 100 to 130 per day.

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Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said that in light of this decision, the administration is also increasing the capacity of quarantine facilities for international passengers in the city. “At present, we have a capacity of 520 beds at three different places. We are increasing the capacity by opening a new facility at Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex at Balewadi to accommodate 250 additional people. We are on the lookout to find more places for this purpose,” said Mhaisekar.

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He said that 20 operators have been calling up every individual who has landed at Pune Airport since the first case of Covid-19, checking if they are showing any symptoms and ensuring that they remain at home quarantine.

“We have started implementing the decision to stamp the left hand of all international passengers so that they remain at home and others get to know if they violate quarantine,” said Mhaisekar.

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