Home Quarantine People To Be Stamped In Maharashtra!

Mumbai: In an unprecedented move, the Maharashtra government on Monday decided to ‘stamp’ all those people who have been sent to 100 per cent ‘home quarantine’ in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Accordingly, the left hand of all persons shunted to 100 per cent home quarantine will be stamped to identify them easily if they mingle with the general public.

The decision, taken at a meeting of top officials chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, has been described as a precautionary measure after 39 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the state – highest in India – and around seven suspected patients had fled from treatment centres in the past couple of days.

Late on Monday evening, Greater Mumbai’s Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi issued an order to all officials concerned at hospitals and the airport, asking them to ‘stamp’ behind the left palm of the home quarantined person concerned, the dates of isolation, with ink that would last for 14 days.

“It is not a crime if somebody is infected by Covid-19. They must be given proper medical treatment and psychological support. The Epidemic Diseases Act has been invoked in the interest of the people and the district administration must create awareness on it,” Thackeray asserted.

He directed that all facilities must be provided for persons under home quarantine and also at the other treatment centres, where the existing patients are responding to treatment.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that on the lines of the indelible ink applied to voters during elections, a stamp will be imprinted on the left hand indicating “that person/patient is under compulsory home quarantine” till March 31.

“This will help other people identify them if they break home quarantine and mix among the public during their home isolation period,” he said.

The state government has also made it a punishable offence if any person attempts to evade the compulsory quarantine, or breaks ‘home quarantine’ and would forcibly move such person to a government isolation facility.

Additionally, entry to Mantralaya — the state government headquarters and a major public hub — shall be banned till March 31, except for those on official duties, days after the Maharashtra Legislature’s Budget Session was curtailed by a week in view of the coronavirus precautions.

All upcoming local bodies and civic elections have been postponed by three months, the shutdown of academic institutions in urban centres has been extended to cover all educational institutions even in rural areas.

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