Sunday, November 22, 2020

Tamil Nadu: Passengers from cities with high Covid-19 cases go unmonitored

Chennai: Covid-19 cases may be surging in Delhi, but close to 3,000 people who arrive by flights and trains daily go almost unmonitored as checks have been relaxed following unlocking of restrictions. Temperature check is done at the airport but follow-up tracking is not done while at railway stations arriving passengers are not checked.

Delhi reported around 6,000cases in a single day. Chennai receives around 12 flights and two trains every day from the national capital.

An airport official said that a temperature check of arriving domestic passengers is being done but then the vigil has gone down because of the unlock mode and passengers are allowed to arrive and depart without much of a restriction as part of encouraging travel. However, the temperature check cannot be considered as foolproof as it will not be able to screen people who do not show symptoms. Two people — one from Delhi and another from UP — tested positive on Friday and one passenger from Karnataka tested positive after they showed symptoms on arrival on Saturday.

"The sudden increase in cases in Delhi is baffling. The cases should have subsided by now but it is shooting up. Airline staff are taking precautions as patronage of flights has increased. Delhi-Chennai route is one of the most popular routes," said an airline official.

The Maharashtra government is considering limiting the number of flights from Delhi. But the Airports Authority of India (AAI) or the airlines have not got any such advice from the Tamil Nadu government.

Better screening and testing of domestic passengers at the airport and at the railway station is a huge challenge as the number of passengers has increased.

22/11/20 Times of India

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