Monday, 30th October 2017

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Covid-19 hand-seal at airports, stations of Assam

A visible stamp on people’s hand is to ensure their stay at home and help others notice if they venture out

By Avik Chakraborty in Dibrugarh
  • Published 22.03.20, 12:52 AM
  • Updated 22.03.20, 4:14 AM
  • 2 mins read
Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma undergoes thermal screening at Dibrugarh airport on Saturday. (PTI)

Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said the process of hand-stamping of passengers — arriving from coronavirus-affected states — at airports and railway stations will begin from Monday.

Incoming passengers from such states will be stamped with indelible ink right below the knuckles which will mention the date until which the person should remain quarantined at home.

The stamp will read: “I volunteer to remain home quarantined for a period of 14 days.”

A visible stamp on people’s hand is to ensure their stay at home and help others notice if they venture out in public. Already airports in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi have started this process.

“The hand-stamping equipment has not arrived yet. We are hopeful that from Monday we can start the stamping process of incoming passengers from coronavirus-affected state, at the airports. Regarding international passengers, the Centre had already announced that no international flights will be allowed to land in India for a week from Sunday,” Sarma said during his visit to the Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH), Dibrugarh, on Saturday.

He also appealed to the people to cooperate with the government and strictly follow the instructions to combat the novel coronavirus.

“By the grace of the almighty, Assam so far is free of the novel coronavirus. But that does not guarantee that there will be no coronavirus case tomorrow. We all need to be extra cautious. People should follow the instructions of the government. The best way to fight the global pandemic is by restricting social gathering and follow medical guidelines,” Himanta added.

During his visit to the AMCH, he reviewed the preparedness to tackle coronavirus cases. He also had a meeting with all the doctors, nurses and other staff in the presence of principal secretary, health, Sameer Sinha, MLA Prasanta Phukan, deputy commissioner, Dibrugarh, Pallav Gopal Jha, principal, AMCH, Hiranya Kumar Goswami and other officials.

Earlier, on landing at Dibrugarh airport, the minister, after undergoing thermal screening process, reviewed the preventive measures taken at the airport.

The ICMR-RMRC (Indian Council of Medical Research-Regional Medical Research Centre), Dibrugarh, which is one of the four authorised Covid-19 testing centres in Assam, has revealed that all the tests carried out by them were negative. Among the samples tested, one was that of a UK citizen.

“We have so far tested 47 samples for Covid-19 at our laboratory. All of them were found negative,” ICMR-RMRC nodal officer Biswajyoti Borkakoty said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Dibrugarh New Market Traders’ Association has appealed to the citizens of the town to observe “janata curfew” on Sunday by staying home from 7am to 9pm.