Interstate travel poses big risk, say experts

Little priority is being given to the interstate movement of people, which is likely to affect more people in the rural belt of the country that has so far been largely spared of COVID-19, according to medical professionals. Kerala would lose the hard-earned edge in pandemic containment at a phase when everyone is looking forward to a way out of the lockdown, they say.

‘Room quarantine’

Though the movement of migrants cannot be stopped, governments have to strengthen quarantine centres to ensure that there is no let-up in caution, said Padmanabha Shenoy, immunologist. Home quarantine, which should be room quarantine, is not likely to be followed in most households, he says.

He wondered why people coming from hotspots such as Mumbai are not placed in institutional quarantine as those coming from Dubai, as the prevalence in both places looks similar, he says.

The State government has the means to know from where every person is coming and should use the discretion of quarantine according to the area’s status. A senior Revenue official says that many who have come from other States are yet to be traced. At times, local authorities are unable to access on the portal the details of those who have crossed the check-post.

This jeopardises follow-up action and the returnees may not end up in quarantine, says a Health official. The confusion over home and institutional quarantine with respect to interstate travel has caused much distress, he says, adding that it poses a bigger risk to the State.

The government is relying on neighbourhood vigil to get information about people who have arrived and not been followed up by the authorities, the Revenue official adds.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 2:06:17 AM |

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