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Coronavirus | Universal screening began on March 4, informs Directorate General of Health Services

Early action: Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata airports had started screening of travellers by January 17.

Early action: Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata airports had started screening of travellers by January 17.   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

RTI reply says screening for passengers from China and Hong Kong started on January 17.

Universal screening for all international passengers at 30 airports across India started on March 4. Over 15.24 lakh passengers were screened for Covid-19 symptoms between January 15 and March 23, according to an RTI reply from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

Also read: Coronavirus | Testing capacity for COVID-19 scaled up to 95,000 per day, says Harsh Vardhan

On March 15, the Prime Minister’s Office had said in a tweet: “We started screening entry into India from mid-January itself, while also gradually increasing restrictions on travel. The step-by-step approach has helped avoid panic: PM @narendramodi #SAARCfightsCorona.”

Air travel in India was suspended on March 23, two days before the first phase of lockdown started in the country.

Initially, scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft were not allowed to land in India from March 22, for one week.

The DGHS reply to RTI activist Saket Gokhale stated that no outbound international passengers were screened during the period, adding that it had no information on the total number of international passengers who arrived at all Indian airports from January 15 to March 18.

Also read: Data | India's coronavirus testing rates are among the lowest in the world

The application has been forwarded to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for providing details to the applicant.

The RTI reply said that on January 17, the screening of passengers coming from China and Hong Kong had started at the airports in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, while January 21 onwards, it was done at four more airports in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Cochin.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 7:27:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-universal-screening-began-on-march-4-informs-directorate-general-of-health-services/article31595869.ece

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