Maharashtra begins stamping left hands of those who’ve been advised home quarantine

The Maharashtra Government where maximum coronavirus cases have been reported in India announced that it would “stamp” all those who have been sent to home quarantine amid scare over the pandemic.

Left hand of those under home quarantine will be stamped to identify them easily, said Health Minister Rajesh Tope.

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 coronavirus or COVID-19 were detected in the state and around seven suspected patients escaped from treatment centres in last few 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 those under home quarantine, 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,” Mr Thackeray said.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that a stamp with indelible ink – applied to voters during elections – 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.

Mr Thackeray appealed that those who have been advised home quarantine must voluntarily refrain from stepping out in public to prevent any risk to others.