Taking preventive measures against the spread of Covid-19, the Karnataka health department on Tuesday started on-spot swab testing at the KSR railway station for all the 644 Maharashtra returnees who deboarded the Udyan express at Bengaluru's KSR railway station on Tuesday morning.
The train which reached Kempegowda Sangolli Rayanna railway station in Bengaluru from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus had 592 adults and 52 children.
This is for the first time in the country, after the resumption of railway services, that passengers had to undergo on-spot swab testing.
Confusion prevailed over travellers from Maharashtra having to undergo institutional quarantine for seven days followed by home quarantine for a week as the decision was unknown to many.
The swab test results will be known to the passengers within 48 hours. Officials in the South Western railway claimed that this was the first time where the deboarded passengers underwent on spot swab testing.
The Deccan Chronicle has learnt from a sources in the railway department that the move is to avoid passengers inhibition to go for institutionalised quarantine because of economic considerations.
However, there were scores of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses at the station to take the passengers to institutionalquarantine. Out of the 115 Covid-19 cases reported on May 29, 84 were returnees from Maharashtra.
The health department has stated that the business travellers must carry Covid negative certificate from any of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) labs. If they do not have the certificate they will undergo institutional quarantine. However, if the swab test results confirms Covid negative for business travellers, they will only spend two days in institutional quarantine.