Bengaluru, May 07, 2020: The Karnataka government is preparing to receive 10,823 of the state’s residents who are set to return from overseas amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said on Tuesday. This is more than a month after international flights were barred.
Officials said that all those who come into the state will be quarantined, and that all passengers will be tested as well, on arrival and on different days of their quarantine.
"The state has planned to quarantine all 10,823 passengers coming back to Karnataka. The quarantine guidelines framed as below would be applicable," said Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey, in a statement.
According to the Government of India, a total of 10,823 Karnataka natives have been stranded abroad till April 30. This comprises 4,408 tourists, 3,074 students, 2,784 migrants and professionals, and 557 ship crew.
Out of the 10,823 people, the state government is expecting 6,100 to return early as the government has decided to allow Indians stuck abroad to return.
"All the passengers arriving at points of entry (airports and seaports) will be compulsorily screened for symptoms of COVID-19," said Pandey.
Point of entry screening will include self-reporting verification form, thermal screening, pulse oximeter reading, briefing with instructions, categorisation, stamping for some and downloading of the health surveillance apps Aarogya Setu, Quarantine Watch and Apthamitra.
Arriving passengers are also required to declare existing co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma or any lung disease, organ transplantations, cancer, immunosuppressants, tuberculosis, liver disease, heart disease, and other ailments.
Passengers will be categorised into three groups: Category A (symptomatic on arrival), Category B (asymptomatic with co-morbidity or aged above 60 years) and Category C (rest of asymptomatic passengers).
Depending on the category into which people fall, their quarantine place and time will be determined.
Category A arrivals will be subjected to institutional quarantine for a fortnight, Category B one week quarantine at a hotel or hostel, followed by another week at home, and Category C home quarantine for a fortnight.
Karnataka government is making elaborate arrangements and deploying healthcare, the police force, and several other departments to handle the huge influx of Kannadigas and state residents.
Pandey has issued a 21-page elaborate standard operating procedure (SOP) on how to deal with the international returnees.
The guidelines state that the above will also apply to international passengers who arrive to the state from different ways such as through ports, road and via rail and domestic flights. This means that even if an international passenger arrives in a different state and comes to Karnataka by road, they will be subject to quarantine and testing.
Those who arrive in Karnataka from another home state, will be allowed to go to their home state provided they come under Category C. However, Category A and B will be quarantined by Karnataka officials.
The Karnataka government has recently come under fire for stopping the trains of migrant workers and preventing them from leaving the state to go back to their home states, following easing of the lockdown.
Courtesy:The News Minute