A new variant of SARS- CoV 2 virus has been reported by the Government of United Kingdom (UK) to World Health Organization (WHO). This variant was estimated by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) and they regarded the virus to be more transmissible and affecting younger population.
In response, Ministry of Health has issued SOP for Epidemiological Surveillance and Response to battle against the SARS- CoV 2 virus. Just before the decision was taken by GOI to ban flights coming from UK, one flight from UK was already on its way to India. The travellers when arrived at the airport were apparently forced to quarantine in the aloft hotel of aerocity which will be incurring huge cost on the travellers.
Though some travellers have tested negative for the test 3-4 times and as per the SOP issued by the Ministry of health in "Part C" of SOP it is clearly specified that those who tested negative will be home quarantined and state will ensure the monitoring of those travellers. Apart for SOP, the Government of Delhi decided to adopt different protocol which creared lot of uncertainty in the protocol for travellers who tested negative. But the biggest concern that arises here is that no authority is telling them the clear picture as to when they will be allowed to go home. The Hotel rooms in which travellers are being quarantined are apparently not even being sanitized which may pose threat to the health of the travelers. The hotel facilities are also the biggest concern for the travellers. The hotel staff is supposedly not cleaning the rooms of quarantined travellers and the hotel staff is just providing bin bags to throw garbage. Government of Delhi is not even providing clear information about the protocols to follow and there is lack in the security services of the travellers The safety concern for women travellers who stuck in the hotels due to institutional quarantine protocol of Govt. of Delhi is another major problem. There are no such security surveillance measures taken up by the Govt. of Delhi for the safety of travllers. The women travelers are in fear as they got stucked in the place where they cannot seek help from their family members and relatives. Govt. of Delhi has taken not taken any appreciable steps to protect the interest of travellers and the Government forcibly made travellers liabile to pay expensive Hotel bills and corona test bills. Earlier, the flights from UK were suspended temporarily from 23rd December till 31st December 2020 or till further orders. Later on, Union Civil Aviation Minister announced the extension of suspension of flights from UK till 7th Jan 2020. The SOP issued by Ministry of Health is divided into three parts which is as follows: Part A:
Actions to be taken at International Airports Part B:
SOP for Bureau of Immigration (BOI) Part C:
SOP for Surveillance by State Governments/ Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP)