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Gaps in monitoring int'l travellers may seriously jeopardise efforts to contain COVID-19: Centre to states, UTs

Gauba sought district authorities to take "concerted and sustained action" urgently to put "such passengers under surveillance immediately" as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

March 27, 2020 / 06:07 PM IST

The Centre, on March 27, wrote to all states and Union Territories (UTs), flagging "gaps" in screening of Indians who returned after travelling abroad, in the past two months.

Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, in a letter addressed to states and UTs, said, "There appears to be a gap between the number of international passengers who need to be monitored by the states/UTs and the actual number of passengers being monitored."

He pointed out that screening of all international incoming passengers at airports was initiated with effect from January 18, 2020.

"I have been informed that upto March 23, 2020, cumulatively, Bureau of Immigration has shared details of more than 15 lakh incoming international passengers with the states/UTs for monitoring for COVID-19," the cabinet secretary noted in his letter while flagging a gap between the number of international travellers being monitored.

Gauba emphasised that such a discrepancy could "seriously jeopardise" the country's efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, especially since many among those, who have tested positive for the infection in India so far, have had a history of international travel.

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Gauba sought district authorities to take "concerted and sustained action" urgently to put "such passengers under surveillance immediately" as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the suspension of scheduled international passenger services until April 14 midnight. International flights into India were earlier barred till March 31 to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Domestic passenger flights will also remain cancelled till April 14, as per another circular by the aviation body.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 27, 2020 04:59 pm

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