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Chhattisgarh CM asks for mandatory 14-day quarantine for air passengers

In a letter to Hardeep Singh Puri, Baghel has called for a mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine for passengers upon arrival in the state

Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh
  • The Chhattisgarh CM said in the letter that the possibility of the spread of Coronavirus infection cannot be ruled out if domestic flight operations are restarted

  • The letter comes just days before India resumes air travel in a curtailed manner

New Delhi: In a letter addressed to Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has called for a mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine for passengers upon arrival in the state. The letter comes just days before India resumes air travel in a curtailed manner. At a press conference on May 21, Puri had said that the idea of mandatory 14-day quarantine for domestic air passengers was not feasible and whatever other precautions can be taken will be taken.

Chhattisgarh CM asks Centre for mandatory 14-day quarantine

The Chhattisgarh CM said in the letter that the possibility of the spread of Coronavirus infection cannot be ruled out if domestic flight operations are restarted. “The Civil Aviation Ministry has decided to resume domestic flight services from May 25 and no separate Standard Operating Procedure has been issued for passengers,” Baghel was quoted as saying in the letter in a statement.

“Details of each flight with elaborate information about passengers should be shared with states. Even 14-day quarantine for passengers only at state-operated or paid quarantine facilities should be made mandatory,” the CM said.

The middle-seat situation: No plan to keep them vacant on domestic flights

The government does not plan on keeping the middle seat vacant on domestic flights as Puri had said on May 21, “Even if we do keep the middle seat empty on flights, the requirement for social distancing is not met. So, nowhere in the world has the option of keeping the middle seat vacant been seriously pursued.”

“Based on our experience from Vande Bharat Mission, I can say with responsibility that the practice of keeping the middle seat not vacant has worked because we have taken other corresponding preventive measures. We disinfect the aircraft after each flight, we test passengers for basic symptoms through thermal screening, passengers have been asked to wear masks before boarding, the crew wears protective gear etc. So, whatever precaution can be taken will be taken,” he had remarked. 

He added that if the middle seat is vacant, airlines would not be able to operate financially. “The cost burden will be passed on to the consumer. It stands to reason that the people who will travel in domestic sector will be people who will take a conscious decision that they are fit to travel,” he had said.