BMC outlines rigorous implementation by concerned officers
Geetanjali Minhas | December 4, 2021 | Mumbai
In view of the emerging threat of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) Saturday issued strict guidelines for surveillance of all international travellers arriving in the metro and especially those from ‘at risk’ nations.
Outlining SOP’s to be followed by Mumbai International Airport(MIAL), Disaster Management Cell in coordination with EPID Cell, Ward War Room (WWR) teams, all BMC assistant commissioners and Medical Officers of Health (MOH)/Health Posts, the order signed by the municipal commissioner, Iqbal Singh Chahal, says that as per the guidelines issued by the GoI on 30.11.2021 and the GoM order issued on 2.12.2021, seven days home quarantine has been prescribed to international passengers from ‘at risk’ countries.
“It is clear that GoI expects that such passengers follow strict home quarantine in order to restrict the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the public domain. It is essential to rigorously implement these guidelines for surveillance of all international travellers especially those arriving from countries ‘at risk.’ Hence the bellow orders are issued to the concerned officers which must be followed in letter and spirit,” says the order.
"MCGM has introduced a very unique and strict home quarantine monitoring mechanism for international passengers arriving in Mumbai from risk countries. It will be as effective as institutional quarantine. Our objective is to prevent the possible spread of Omicron variant in Mumbai," Chahal said.
As per the order, every day at 9 AM CEO, MIAL, shall send a single line list of international passengers arriving in Mumbai from ‘High Risk Countries’ and ‘At High Risk Countries’ and those who have visited these countries in the last 15 days to Mahesh Narvekar, director, disaster management unit, in the given format through online software.
“It shall be ensured that no name is missing from the above list and names of only those passengers who have mentioned MCGM geographical area in their address be included in the list,” the order says.
The Director, DMU shall design a software to facilitate the segregation of this passengers list as per passenger addresses into 24 wards of MCGM for tracking of all such passengers under home quarantine, received from the CEO, MIAL.
Every day by 10 AM, the disaster management unit shall ensure the distribution of a segregated list of these passengers to all 24 ward war rooms (WWR)and medical officers of health (MOsH).
The EPID cell shall do overall monitoring of surveillance including tracking contact tracing and other activities and report to the authorities.
The WWR shall receive the list of all such passengers from the disaster management unit at 10 AM daily. WWR shall telephonically call all the passengers under home quarantine as per the list received and politely inform them that they are under 7 days home quarantine. They shall provide the passengers with proper information on Covid protocols and counsel them on their concerns.
WWR’s shall ensure that all these passengers are strictly following home quarantine protocols by calling them up 5 times in the day and throughout their period of home quarantine to monitor their health status.
WWR shall notify and issue a letter of information in the prescribed format to office bearers of housing societies of all such international passengers who are under home quarantine to ensure that such passengers shall stay under home quarantine and that no visitors are allowed at such households and notify violations to the AC/ MOH.
WWR shall regularly send their medical teams and ambulance to check that said passengers are complying with home quarantine protocols. On day 7 WWR will ensure that the passengers undergo RT-PCR test on their own accord or send a concerned team to their residence for same.
In case of appearance of any symptoms in-home quarantine, WWR will advise treatment and hospitalization as required and counsel telephonically by WWR doctors in reassuring and polite manner.
Any passenger violating home quarantine protocol shall be liable for legal action under relevant sections of Epidemic Act, 1897 and Disaster Management Act, 2005 and mandatorily shifted to institutional quarantine. WWR shall immediately intimate the concerned MOH in case of breach of any covid protocol by the passenger.
WWR will address the concerns of citizens calling the WWR and especially passengers from non risk countries undergoing self-monitoring at home.
All assistant commissioners to ensure that the WWR’s are adequately staffed and properly functional with all communication lines. Each WWR to have 10 functional and ready ambulances and medical teams with staff names and their contacts.
Each Health Post Team under MOH shall physically visit these passengers under home quarantine as per the list received and politely inform them that they are in 7 days home quarantine, provide them proper information on Covid protocols and counsel them on their concerns. On day 7 of home quarantine each health post team under MOH will ensure that passengers undergo RT-PCT testing and in case of appearance of any symptoms in-home quarantine on intimation from WWR shall shift them for hospitalization.
Report of monitoring will be submitted by the disaster management unit/EHO daily.
The Essential U. R. Ananthamurthy Edited by N. Manu Chakravarthy and Chandan Gowda Aleph Books, Rs 899, 312 pages
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