Coronavirus: First batch of returnees go home post quarantine in Mumbai hotels

Updated: May 26, 2020, 08:38 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Of the 323 people brought to India on May 10, many complain about hotels charging them for extra day as procedures were delayed; eight test positive

At least 323 passengers from Mumbai, who completed the mandatory 14 days in quarantine after arriving from abroad, went home on Sunday on testing negative. Eight of them tested positive. All these people were among those evacuated from various countries and brought to India on May 10. While they were happy about going home, some of them complained about being charged for an extra day by hotels where they were in quarantine.

'Most tested negative'
As per the official information from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), 17 flights landed at the international airport of Mumbai from May 10 to May 22. They carried 2,423 stranded Indians. Of these, 906 are residents of Mumbai, 1,139 are from various districts of Maharashtra and 378 were from other states. At least 1,128 had chosen to stay with various hotels in the city for the 14 days compulsory institutional quarantine. Those from other states went there. The 323 passengers had arrived from London, Singapore and Manila.

Eight test positive
"In all 323 passengers who landed on May 10 have completed 14 days of quarantine. Eight of them were found positive but all are asymptomatic," said P Velarasu, additional commissioner of the BMC. Six of the eight were sent home, while one stayed back at the hotel and another went to a BMC quarantine centre.

There are mixed reviews from passengers staying in hotels in Mumbai. Many of them said they had to stay an extra day due to some procedure and were charged for another day. "Even after paying for the 14 days stay, the hotel where I stayed asked me to pay for another day as we spent one more night awaiting a procedure," said one of the passengers.

'Paid for extra day'
Another passenger added, "The BMC sent its team on the 13th day to take swabs for tests. On the 14th day, everyone was restless and wanted to go home. But the reports were taking time. Hardly anyone had dinner. Some got their results and quarantine certificate by Saturday night, but have to wait for the stamp on hands. Then there were about 3 to 4 couples who couldn't go as the report of a partner was awaited. So most of the passengers stayed an extra night and the hotels charged them another day. But no one was in a mood to complain about it."

"There should be an improved plan for 14 days hotel stay. It is not about the money but the emotional trauma one has to face. Though we were connected through mobile and TV, after a week it gets challenging to cope with mental stress," said Varsha Raut, one of the passengers who went home after 14 days quarantine.

Passengers who came from Newark and Dhaka on May 11 were scheduled to go home on Monday. Passengers will be arriving from Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Manila, Tokyo, Colombo, Mauritius, and Nairobi in 13 flights till June 7.

No. of people who returned from abroad between May 10 and 22

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