What States Said About Quarantine, As Domestic Flights Resume: 10 Points

Coronavirus: Domestic flight operations will resume from today, the government said (File)

New Delhi:
Domestic flight operations will resume Monday morning, two months after a nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break the coronavirus chain of transmission. Ahead of air travel being restarted – a development Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, among others, voiced concerns about – states have issued guidelines over quarantine and isolation of incoming passengers. These come after lengthy discussions between the centre and states, with the latter worrying about an accompanying surge in new COVID-19 cases. Notice of resumption of air travel was delivered by a tweet on Wednesday from Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who, on two occasions last week, said short-haul passengers need not be quarantined.

Here are the top 10 points on quarantine guidelines by different states:

  1. Maharashtra was the focus of attention on Sunday. With mere hours to go before flights resumed, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said only emergency flights would be allowed within the state. Shortly after, cabinet minister Nawab Malik told NDTV that 25 passenger flights would be allowed to operate from Mumbai airport. The state has yet to issue specific quarantine guidelines but, with over 50,000 COVID-19 cases, preventing new cases from outside will feature heavily in any plans.

  2. Tamil Nadu earlier wrote to the centre asking for domestic air travel to be deferred to the lockdown’s end on May 31. Late Sunday night though, it allowed 25 incoming flights and released a SOP on quarantine. Asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic travellers will undergo 14-day quarantine at either home or hotel. Moderately- and severely-affected people will be hospitalised. All passengers will have a quarantine seal stamped with indelible ink; they cannot leave the airport without such a stamp.

  3. Delhi, which has reported nearly 13,000 cases and 231 deaths so far, will not quarantine asymptomatic incoming passengers. Punjab will send asymptomatic passengers to 14 days of home quarantine; those eventually testing positive will be shifted to isolation centres. Chandigarh has issued similar guidelines and will also keep contact details of all passengers, as well as getting them to sign an undertaking.

  4. Kerala, which reported the first three cases in the country, will send air passengers to 14 days home quarantine. Bengal will insist on a similar spell of isolation, but flights to the state will only start after May 28 because of the damage caused by Cyclone Amphan last week; the Kolkata airport had been flooded and damaged because of the storm.

  5. Assam, which was the first to react after Hardeep Singh Puri’s comment on quarantine not being needed, has divided its 14 days of quarantine equally between home and institutional phases. Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had responded to Mr Puri’s comment by insisting that the state would screen and quarantine all incoming passengers. Other states in the northeast have also announced quarantine period. Mizoram will require incoming passengers to have government permission, undertake a COVID-19 test and undergo 14 days of quarantine. Tripura will conduct a pool testing and Manipur will test all symptomatic people. Both states will send them to home quarantine for 14 days.

  6. Uttar Pradesh will send those who intend to stay in the state to 14 days home quarantine. They will be tested after six days and can end isolation if it returns negative. Those without a separate room and toilet for isolation can opt for institutional quarantine. Those intending to leave the state within a week need to provide details and a return ticket before leaving the airport. All passengers must register on https://reg.upcovidin.

  7. Karnataka will insist on 14 days quarantine for all incoming air passengers from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh – the states with the highest infection count. Seven-day institutional isolation will be mandatory. If passengers test negative in pool testing, they will be sent for home quarantine for another seven days. Passengers from other states will face 14 days of home quarantine.

  8. Chhattisgarh will insist on 14 days institutional quarantine, although passengers can choose between spending the time at a government-run facility or a hotel. Goa and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will test all incoming passengers. Himachal Pradesh will allow only residents of the state to flu in, with quarantine waiting those found to be symptomatic.

  9. Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri earlier said for flyers, quarantine will be dealt with in a pragmatic manner. “We can’t have 14 days’ quarantine, it is not practical… Why are we making a fuss on quarantine? Positive cases won’t be boarding,” Mr Puri said, while admitting that there can be asymptomatic people.

  10. This morning, the country registered the biggest-single day jump in the number of coronavirus cases as 6,767 new patients were reported in the last 24 hours. The total cases are now 1.31 lakh and 3,867 deaths have been linked to the highly illness

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