Airport authorities, Railways gear up to screen passengers




With Chief Minister Pramod Sawant stating that the government will introduce thermal guns to check body temperature at important points in the state in order to check the spread of COVID-19, the Dabolim airport staff and the South Western Railway authorities are all set to screen the air and rail passengers.

Speaking to this daily, airport director Gagan Malik said the authorities are all geared up to screen domestic passengers on their arrival at the airport provided the government makes arrangement for the required manpower from the health department.

“We have received the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the state government on Wednesday to adopt all measures in order to screen domestic passengers on their arrival at the airport,” he said.

“We are prepared to follow all the required procedures but the state government should provide us with the required manpower. The screening of passengers on their arrival with the help of thermal scanners will be done by the state health authorities. Upon receiving the

manpower, we will start the procedure of screening the passengers. The new SOP issued by the government with regard to the domestic passengers from other parts of India has been received by us on Wednesday evening,” said Malik.

He further said the SOP issued by the state government for international passengers has not been changed and will remain as it is.

The SWR authorities are also fully prepared to screen passengers arriving by outstation trains.

“The procedure to screen rail passengers with the help of thermal scanners will be carried out from Thursday onwards. The state government has provided us the required staff for screening of passengers at the Vasco railway station,” said station manager at the Vasco railway station Ramdas Gudemane.

He said, “Thursday early morning, two outstation trains are arriving at the Vasco station. The first train Yesvantpur Express will arrive from Bengaluru around 6 am, while the second train Goa Express (Hazrat Nizamuddin) will arrive around 6.30 am from Delhi. We will see that no passenger is left out from screening. We have taken all precautionary measures. We have also made an arrangement for a single point from where the passengers step out on their arrival at the railway station. We are expecting around 150 passengers from the Yesvantpur Express and around 200 passengers from Goa Express.”

A team led by Mormugao mamlatdar Dhiren Banavalikar visited the Vasco railway station on Wednesday to take stock of the preparedness. “The team checked the functioning of thermal scanners to be used for screening of the passengers. They also checked other facilities at the railway station,” said Gudemane.