Stranded migrants, students, tourists can now get back home: MHA new guidelines
MHA new guidelines: The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued a fresh set of guidelines to let migrant workers, students, tourists and pilgrims stranded get back home.
The interstate movement of these stranded people will be facilitated by the state/UT government. Anyone willing to be transported back home will have to be medically screened at source as well as destination and will be kept in a home or institutional quarantine on arrival, as per the home ministry guidelines.
The ministry said the new guidelines amid the Covid-19 outbreak will come into effect from May 4 and also lead to considerable relaxation in several districts.
“All states to designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending such stranded persons. Stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students will be allowed to move with conditions during the lockdown,” the MHA order said.
Wednesday’s guidelines say all stranded people can return to their home towns after undergoing strict medical screening both at the source and destination cities. States must also organize thermal testing units and quarantine facilities for all those who are stranded, in order to clear asymptomatic cases, before sending them back. However, the movement of migrants, tourists and students will be restricted to non-containment zones.
Transportation of such individuals will be done via buses, as train or flight services are currently unavailable for passengers. The buses shall be sanitized and the authorities will follow protocols of social distancing while seating passengers in the vehicle, the MHA order said.
While the states receiving and sending such travelers must consult on the action plan, the states or UTs on the transit route will allow passage to the buses.
“On arrival of their destination such persons would be assessed by the local health authority and kept in home quarantine unless the assessment requires keeping the persons in institutional quarantine,” the MHA order said.
After arrival, the passengers will be kept under watch with periodic health checkups.
The government may ask them to install the Arogya Setu app to help the government track their health status.
“Due to lockdown migrant workers, pilgrims, students, tourists and other persons are stranded at different places,” Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla said in a letter to states. “All states should designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending stranded people.”
The sending and receiving states must agree to movement by road only after the people are screened and found to be asymptomatic, the Centre said, adding that states must also organize thoroughly sanitized buses.