The Assam government has requested air passengers to delay their planned travel to the state, citing limited quarantine facilities. Finance and Health Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sharma today told media that the state will be following a “ruthless quarantine” protocol for inbound air, road, and train passengers.
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“Since flights will be coming regularly, let us come in a staggered manner. Don't try to be the first passenger to enter Assam. Air passengers entering Assam in the initial days will face difficulties,” Sharma said in Guwahati on Sunday.
“We have not been able to plan properly as of today, as we don't have flight manifests which be released only 4 hours before the flight. I would like to apologise to air passengers arriving (in Assam ) tomorrow in advance today. On Monday, there will be delays related to screening at airport arrival areas. We will be able to have a better idea of our preparedness to handle air passengers in the next 2-3 days,” Sharma added.
Elaborating on the operational issues and constraints , Sharma said that passenger screening in airport arrival areas will be a time-consuming process.
“Will need 10 minutes to screen each air passenger in the airport arrival area. Each counter will be able to clear 6 passengers per hour. Even with 10 screening booths in the arrival area, we will be able to clear 60 passengers. In 24 hours, our capacity will be to clear up to 1500 passengers in the arrival area,” Sharma added.
Air passengers arriving in Assam will be subject to institutional quarantine for which limited hotels will be available on a self-payment basis,and some more hotel rooms available where the government foot the bill.
Certain categories of passengers will be allowed full exemption from institutional quarantine, which includes government officials on tour, flight crew, and passengers who give an undertaking to return back the same day. But any passenger who violates the undertaking on returning the same day will face penal action.
In addition, air passengers arriving in Assam who have tested negative in the rt-PCR test in the past 72 hours will be asked to go for home quarantine instead of institutional quarantine in state-controlled facilities.
First Published: IST