Maha govt issues SOP for arrivals from Europe, Middle-East, South Africa

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Mumbai, Dec 22 (PTI) The Maharashtra government has come out with a standard operating protocol (SOP) for dealing with passengers arriving from Europe, South Africa and the Middle-East amid concerns over the detection of a new variant of coronavirus in the UK.

'All the officials and staff of the airport should be made aware that all passengers coming from the above areas should be considered to be harboring the new strain of virus and should be handled in that manner,' a government circular said on Monday.

All passengers coming from these countries shall undergo mandatory paid institutional quarantine of 14 days on arrival, a government circular said on Monday.

No passenger arrived on flights from these countries will be allowed to opt for home quarantine, 'The airport/ airline staff should ensure that the passengers disembarking from the above-mentioned flights are wearing proper fitted mask, have sanitized the visible part of their hands thoroughly,' the circular said.

'It should be strictly ensured that at all times, the staff and passengers follow respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene and social distancing. In case anyone is not following the above instruction, strict action should be taken,' it said.

The flow of passengers in the airport premises should be such that they do not mix with passengers coming by other flights or other staff, the circular said.

The passengers will be transported to designated hotels for institutional quarantine.

All this should be done 'without raising any panic, or any differential behaviour towards the passengers', the circular said.

'The psychological aspect of the situation should be managed very diligently so as to improve the compliance of the staff and the passengers toward following the guidelines,' it added.

An area at the far end of the airport terminal should be reserved for receiving these flights and it should have adequate airbridges so as to receive the flights in a staggered manner to avoid overcrowding, the government said.

The staff of these aircraft should be kept in an isolated area and should not be allowed to enter the terminal, it said. PTI ENM KRK KRK