Chennai

Bus, train passengers to be screened

Consulates asked to share information on nationals currently in the State

Measures are being taken to screen passengers arriving in Tamil Nadu from neighbouring States in buses and trains, Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam said.

With Kerala and Karnataka reporting COVID-19 cases, he said, “We have been screening international travellers at airports and seaports. There are cases due to internal spread in the neighbouring States. So, Tamil Nadu has to be extra cautious in screening inter-State movement of persons. We have advised for screening of bus and train travellers using thermal scanners.”

He added that work on establishing quarantine facilities in Tambaram and Madurai was on. “As of now, isolation wards have been set up in hospitals. If these quarantine facilities are ready, it will be a better place and more safe,” he told reporters after a meeting with officials of consulates in the city.

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said the 45-year-old man, who had tested positive for COVID-19, was ready to be discharged after two mandatory tests returned negative for the virus. There are no new positive cases in the State. “However, as Kerala and Karnataka have positive cases, we are very alert and cautious and have taken up surveillance measures in the border districts,” he said.

The department asked the consulates to share information on the respective nationals currently in the State and advise them about the travel advisories and restrictions. They were urged to coordinate with State the Health Department on travel restrictions and to follow stringent sterilisation and disinfection of places.

Hong Yup Lee, Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Korea, said the visa ban was affecting Korean businessmen in the city. “At least 10 small-sized Korean companies are affected. The businessmen were on a business trip to Korea and are unable to return. So, business decisions are not taken and in some cases their signature is needed to disburse salary. We hope the Indian government will show some flexibility,” he added.

He also pointed out the city has 4,000 strong community and is hurt by the name calling by some in wake of the coronavirus.

“Around 1,000 from the community are kids and teens. Some persons call them corona and they are hurt. Most of the people in Tamil Nadu and India are very kind and generous. A few persons doing this is a disgrace. I appeal to them not to do it,” Mr. Lee said.

As per the bulletin issued by the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, 10 persons are under hospital isolation in the State, while 1,288 passengers are under home quarantine. Two nasal, throat swabs and blood samples were under process.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 11:50:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/bus-train-passengers-to-be-screened/article31053923.ece

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