Saturday, May 09, 2020

Noida admin’s advisory: Air India staff should return only after 14-day quarantine

Noida: In a letter to Air India, Noida police and administration have “advised” the airline to quarantine its crew members as per procedure before allowing them to travel back to Noida. The airline, as part of the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, is involved in bringing back Indian residents stranded in other countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per the order, a crew member who is also a Noida resident is ‘advised’ to stay in Delhi during the period of operation and follow MHA and Health Ministry guidelines for quarantine.

Air India officials, however, said the order will hamper essential work. “The entire country knows that crew of Air India is at the forefront of the Covid battle and involved in rescue work bravely. We have been sanctioned by the Ministry… The local administration order was issued even though we have been following protocol. This will come in the way of crucial work that is being undertaken by our fearless crew. Appropriate action will be taken,” said an Air India spokesperson.
In a statement, Noida Police said “a circular was issued by the MHA on May 1, and another by MoHFW on April 30. An SOP was further issued by MHA on May 5 on rules to be followed in the case of Indian nationals returning to India. Strictly following the sequence of Ministry orders issued in view of COVID-19, a letter was sent to MD Air India that any crew member involved in the travel should only be sent to Gautam Budh Nagar after following quarantine procedures as the district is in the red zone.”

According to officials, the decision, taken in tandem with the administration, was also conveyed to the UP government and a letter was sent to Air India officials after consulting the office of the Additional Chief Secretary requesting the same.

The order was issued keeping in mind a number of Air India officials travelling between Delhi and Noida and the present COVID-19 cases in the district.

The order issued by the Home Ministry on May 5 says, “Any passenger found symptomatic will be taken to a medical facility as per protocol. The remaining passengers shall be taken to institutional quarantine as arranged by state governments, and will be kept under quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. They will be undertaking extra 14 days of self-monitoring following testing negative post two weeks.”
09/05/20 Amil Bhatnagar/Indian Express

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