Airlines asked to not carry 'home-quarantined' fliers

Coronavirus: Health Ministry asks Indian airlines not to carry those with 'home quarantined' stamps

As the ban on international flights came into effect in India in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak, the Union Health Ministry on Monday told Indian airlines that passengers with "home quarantined" stamps on them should not be allowed to board any domestic flight.

The ministry had on Sunday asked the airlines to let the passengers with stamps of "home quarantine" on them board domestic transit flights so that they can reach their final destination.

The ministry believes that such passengers, who came from coronavirus-affected countries and have instructions to be under home quarantine for 14 days, have reached their final destination by now, a statement said.

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The government has directed that every asymptomatic passenger coming from abroad must stay in home quarantine for 14 days. Such passengers are stamped with "home quarantined" stamps on their hand before leaving the airport.

"As all international flights have stopped on Sunday (March 22, 2020). The home quarantined passengers were permitted till now to travel on connecting flights to reach their final destination within India.

"They should've already proceeded on the connecting flights by now. With the stoppage of all international services 24 hours back, there is no rationale in carrying these passengers anymore," the Airport Health Organisation (APHO) told airlines in an e-mail on Monday.

"Please do not accept any passengers with Home quarantine stamps anymore. Any specific cases henceforth will have to be cleared by APHOs positively and discussed with the Regional Medical Officers," it said.

COVID-19 cases in India rose to 415, the health ministry said, as much of the country locked down on Monday with the Centre warning of legal action against those violating the restrictions enforced to curtail the pandemic, which has claimed more than 14,500 lives globally. In India, seven people have died due to the disease.

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