Monday, April 26, 2021

Domestic passengers fail to follow COVID protocols in Kerala, international travellers only exception

Thiruvananthapuram: Even as the Kerala government strengthened restrictions in place for travellers coming to the state from other parts of India and foreign countries following the second wave of COVID, only air travelers are following the guidelines per se, as there is no strict enforcement of protocols in road and rail routes across the state.

In the case of air passengers, all the international travelers are bound to follow the COVID protocol for their surveillance issued by the Union Government. The domestic travellers, irrespective of their vaccination status, should also carry an RT-PCR test negative result taken 48 hours prior to the journey or should take immediately after entering the state.

The latest travel advisory for the international traveller is that he/she should have a RT-PCR negative result taken 72 hours prior to the journey. They will have to go on home quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. If they are coming without an RT-PCR negative certificate, they will be subjected to a test at the airport. The travel advisory for international passengers are clearly being followed by the travellers as almost all the airlines companies made RT-PCR test results mandatory before boarding the flight. But in the domestic front, things are not so rosy. 

Praveen N A, 26-year-old, who reached Trivandrum airport from Kolkata on Saturday, said he was not asked for RT-PCR negative test result by the airline or health authorities in Kolkata or Trivandrum. "When I reached Trivandrum by a connecting flight from Bangalore, the airport officials asked whether I have RT-PCR test result. As I said I don't have, they asked me to undergo the test once I reached home," he said. 

But the scenario is entirely different in road and rail routes.  As per the latest advisory of the Kerala Government, those who couldn’t undertake the RT-PCR test should remain in room isolation for 

14 days from the date of entry and seek immediate medical attention if they develop any symptoms.

But the fact is that there is no proper system to check the status of passengers other than asking them to register with Covid Jagratha portal. 

25/04/21 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express

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