Coronavirus watch list at Calcutta Airport expanded – Telegraph India

Kolkata News

All passengers arriving from seven countries affected by the novel coronavirus are being sent to the quarantine facility in New Town since early on Monday. Passengers from three more countries will be in “compulsory quarantine” from March 18.

The seven countries that are on the list are China, South Korea, Iran, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

A statement issued by the health and family welfare ministry on Monday said passengers arriving from Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates on or after March 18 will be in quarantine for 14 days.

Airport sources said the directive to send all passengers from the 10 countries to the quarantine unit was issued following reports that some airports had let passengers considered potentially at risk to go home.

Till Monday afternoon, 25 people were sent to the quarantine unit, set up on the New Town campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute. All but one were later sent home.

The passengers arriving from affected countries are being categorised into A (having symptoms of possible coronavirus infection), B (not suffering from any symptom but aged above 60 or having an underlying health condition such as diabetes or asthma) and C (not suffering from any symptom, aged below 60 and not having any underlying condition). “Category A fliers will be sent to hospital with an isolation unit and those in categories B and C are being sent to the New Town quarantine unit,” a health department official said.

The government had earlier announced that category B fliers would be sent to the quarantine facility and the ones in category C would be advised home-quarantine. “After a video conference among civil aviation ministry officials and airport health offices across India, it was decided that no segregation between category B and C patients would be done at the airport,” the official said.

The health and family welfare ministry has issued a circular stating that “ideally” all passengers from affected countries should be kept in quarantine for at least 24 hours. “During this period (24 hours), the State health teams should assess their risk profile intensively and then take the decision as to who will fall in category B and who will be in category C. Thereafter, those falling under category C can be sent home for strictly following the home quarantine procedure,” the circular states. “Those in category B will have to be in quarantine for at least 14 days,” the health department official said.

Entry blocked

The health and family welfare ministry said on Monday travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom to India is prohibited from March 18.