TODAY -

Bracing up for arrival by air : What are the guidelines ?
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: May 25 2020 -



What are the guidelines for air passengers who will start returning to Imphal from tomorrow (May 25) ?

The Government must have worked it out by now, but unfortunate it is, that no detailed information has been given out till now on whether the returnees would undergo institutional quarantine or would be taken straight home with the addendum that they would have to undergo home quarantine.

This is what is uncomfortable.

True with so many others too returning by train and by road, the pressure on the quarantine centres so far set up can be imagined, but one here is talking about a virus which is highly contagious and which has already claimed thousands of lives across the world.

And can home quarantine really substitute institutional quarantine ?

One here is not talking about comfort of the home but about how one can be sure that the safety guidelines would be strictly adhered to when one is at home.

That not many are really serious about maintaining social distancing norms has been amply demonstrated numerous times, especially during the short time that the market was opened some time back to enable the people buy their basic necessities.

With no one supervising them officially, batting for home quarantine over institutional quarantine would amount to giving many a free rein, rubbishing the understanding of maintaining social/physical distancing, frequently washing one’s hand with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, not socialising or mixing around in groups etc.

One here is talking about the general attitude and behaviour of the people at large and there is nothing to exaggerate here.

How about compulsory testing ?

Will those returning by air be made to undergo compulsory testing or will they have to wait for symptoms to show up, leaving all to question, ‘what about asymptomatic cases ?’

It is providence that there is as yet no community transmission but it would do good for all to remember that all the positive cases in Manipur, save for the first two, were confirmed while they were still in quarantine centres and many of them were asymptomatic.

Just imagine the situation if they had been made to undergo home quarantine.

Those arguing in favour of home quarantine over institutional quarantine will spell out the reason for their stand, but the examples that have just been quoted above cannot be overlooked.

And it would also do good for all not to forget that over 90 percent of the households in Manipur are not suited for quarantining anyone to arrest a highly contagious virus.

Common toilets and bathrooms, not at all uncommon for two sisters to share the same room and same is the case with two brothers.

It is in such a situation that many who return by air would have to undergo home quarantine if there is no arrangement for institutional quarantine centres.

Moreover it is also confusing when one takes into account what the Director of Imphal airport had to say vis-a-vis the office memorandum issued by the office of the Chief Secretary on May 23.

While the Director of Imphal airport maintained that there will be buses arranged by the Government to take the incoming passengers away from the airport, the office memorandum from the Chief Secretary’s office said ‘persons coming to drop or pick up their relatives from airport can use boarding passes or tickets to move between residence and airport’.

This is surely confusing and it would help if this is cleared as soon as possible.



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