Last batches of passengers arrive in Guwahati railway station
The last two batches of 426 and 200 passengers arrived in Guwahati railway station in special trains from Mangalore and Pune, in the morning and at night on Tuesday for medical screening, tagging and quarantine stamping before onward travel to their final destinations on special ASTC buses.
The passengers are considered to be a threat, travelling from Maharashtra, a state where considerable number of coronavirus victims have been identified.
State health authorities are in a state of alarm as no Covid-19 sufferers have been found in the state so far but a single virus sufferer or carrier will act like a bomb, setting off an explosion of such cases.
The passengers of the special trains from Ernakulum on Monday and Mangalore and Pune on Tuesday assume special significance in such a scenario and all efforts are on to keep track of them from the moment they arrive in the city and disperse to their respective destinations.
The passengers, on alighting at the platform here, were herded into a separate area where state health workers, assisted by railway personnel, checked their temperature and any signs of cold or cough — typical Covid-19 symptoms — in an attempt to identify any positive case. Their addresses were also taken down to geo- tag them and provide checkups. They are then stamped on the forehand with indelible ink, ordering self-isolation or quarantine for a period of 14 days, the time for any symptoms to surface.
Any such stamped person wandering around and coming into contact with the local populace are liable to be arrested and the district administrations have appealed to the people to notify police about any such persons found wandering around.
A similar procedure was adopted for the 129 passengers of Avadh Assam Express trains which arrived in the city in the wee hours of Tuesday and 425 of Gandhidham Kamakhya Express a little later.
The last batch of passengers arrived at Guwahati station around 10pm on the special train from Pune, the last train to enter the city after a complete lockdown was imposed across the state at 6pm.
ASTC buses were kept in readiness to whisk them away. The importance of the last batch of passengers to avail the special ASTC service could be gauged from the fact that transport minister Chandra Mohan Patowary himself oversaw the preparations at the ASTC complex at Paltan Bazar, adjoining the railway station.
The arrival of these passengers truly mark the lockdown, denying any entry or exit from a state on tenterhooks.