The CISF, that frisks lakhs of passengers at airports every day, has asked its personnel to adopt a 'minimum touch' approach in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, officials said on Thursday. The CISF personnel have also been asked to maintain a distance of 2.5 cm from passengers during frisking, they said.
CISF chief Rajesh Ranjan and head of airport security of the force M A Ganapathy visited the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday to take stock of facilities provided to passengers. The DG also reviewed the arrangements made for CISF personnel who frisk and interact with thousands of travellers every day, a senior official said. The force has also directed its intelligence wing personnel, who are present in mufti at the airport, to keep a check on "potentially infected and sick passengers" so that health and security officials can quickly segregate them from others.
"CISF personnel deployed at 63 domestic and international airports have been sensitised to adopt 'minimum touch' concept and also wear masks, surgical gloves and not to touch any item or article of the passenger during pre-embarkation screening," a force spokesperson said.
Staffers at these airports have also been advised to have interaction with passengers from a distance without compromising security procedures, he said.
The equipment used by security personnel like hand-held metal detectors is also being sanitised regularly.
The paramilitary force has placed infra-red thermometers to check passengers and even the security personnel for any coronavirus-like symptoms at these civil aviation facilities. "Full-body suits have been provided to all airports under our cover which may be used at the time of isolation of a CISF personnel if the need arises," he said. This suit will be worn by CISF personnel who handle the infected colleagues, he said.
The force has also expanded its deployment at the specially-created 'triage area' along the tarmac of the IGI Airport where passengers brought from coronavirus-affected countries are scanned by medical experts. A contingent of force personnel has also been tasked to assist worried passengers arriving from international destinations that have witnessed coronavirus outbreak, he said.