In a bid to stop new cases and new variants from reaching the already affected state Maharashtra Government declared five states as “Sensitive Origin”.
Under ‘Break The Chain’ initiative Maharashtra Government made it mandatory for all passengers travelling from Delhi NCR, Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand to carry COVID negative certificate in order to gain access in the state.
Maharashtra Government has also released new SOPs for passengers travelling through train.
Standard Operating Procedure for travel to Maharashtra through Railways:
- All passengers to compulsorily wear masks throughout the journey and at the railway stations.
- All passengers to maintain proper social distancing while boarding alighting from the trains or when getting tested/ checked at the stations when needed.
- Thermal scanners to be made available at entry exit points at all stations
- e-ticketing/mobile ticketing should be promated as it becomes easier to do the tracing of close contacts through mobile numbers. Fine system should also ideally be mobile based or allow e-collection.
Due to reasons that may lead to higher potentiality of spread of Corona 19 in State of Maharashtra, some origins may be declared a sensitive origins by the MSDMA.
- Railways shall share data of the trains that are scheduled to be running between these origins and stations of Maharashtra with local Disaster Management Authority (DMA)
- As a principle no unreserved ticket for Maharashtra should be issued on trains from sensitive origins Also, passengers without confirmed ticket should not be allowed to board for Maharashtra.
- All passengers wishing to travel to Maharashtra will need RT-PCT negative test within 48 hours of travel
- All passengers shall be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers shall be allowed to board the trains for Maharashtra Social distancing should be ensured during boarding/de-boarding and travel.
- Railways shall share the data with the local DMA of the passengers that are travelling on the said trains and who are scheduled to disembark at various stations of Maharashtra on each day at the earliest, at least 4 hours prior to departure from the origin.
- Each traveller will be screened. Passengers with negative RT-PCR test to undergo minimal checking like thermal scanning and symptoms checking
- As, despite all efforts by Railways, some passengers may not cary negative RT-PCR test, to the extent possible, DMA may set up Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) testing facility at the station, either through uning Railway, state govemment or private labs.
- Every passenger with positive result of test or with symptoms or refusing to undergo screening as decided above by DMA shall necessarily be moved to quarantine centres by DMA. If a passenger however wants to move to a hospital of choice which has bed available, DMA may allow the same.
- All passengers without symptoms and without needing to be moved to quarantine centres by DMA, without fail shall be stamped on their hands for compulsory home quarantine for 15 days. This is required for those passengers also who are carrying negative RT-PCR test as well as whe have tested negative in RAT at the station or otherwise.
- Any person with a quarantined stamp found outside home except for medical emergency within the period of 15 days of stamping shall be fined with Rs. 1000- and shall be moved to institutional quarantine
- Covid Appropriate Behaviour in the trains we well as the stations must be enforced rigorously
- Currently not all exits have thermal scanners. It is expected that Railways will establish these at the earliest
- As trains are on the move for long times before they reach destination and also passengers are seated. in an orderly fashion, Railways may think of using this time of travel to conduct some tests or carry some operations that reduces time required for protocols at the station after dis-embarkment