Chaotic scenes were witnessed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport on Friday after an Air India flight from the United Kingdom – the first from that country since air travel was banned last month over fears of the mutant coronavirus strain – landed, with the nearly 250 passengers on board complaining of confusion over Covid testing and quarantine rules.
Several passengers took to Twitter to highlight grievances and the situation, tagging Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in their messages.
One person, who identified himself as Gouri Shankar Dash, posted a photo of his infant child sleeping on blankets spread out on the airport floor, and said that airport authorities had refused to let him get his daughter’s stroller from their luggage.
“Dear Arvind Kejriwal, I am one of the passenger of flight AI 112 from London with my 4.5 months old daughter. You locked everyone of us. At least bacche pe to rahem karte (take pity on the children). There is no food for my daughter… they didn’t let me get my stroller. How cruel you guys are?” Mr Dash tweeted, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet.
Dear @ArvindKejriwal, I am one of the passenger of flight AI112 from London with my 4.5 months old daughter. You locked everyone of us. At least bacche pe to rahem karte. There is no food for my daughter & they didn’t let me get my stroller. How cruel you guys are? @HardeepSPuripic.twitter.com/bX6oGvklWs
— Gouri Shankar Dash (@GSDash) January 8, 2021
This morning Chief Minister Kejriwal said passengers from the UK will be sent to seven days of institutional quarantine before home isolation even if they test negative for the coronavirus.
“To protect Delhiites from exposure to virus from UK, Delhi government takes important decisions. All those arriving from UK, who test positive will be isolated in an isolation facility. Negative ones will be taken to a quarantine facility for seven days followed by 7 days home quarantine,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted.
However, the notification came after the Air India flight that landed today took off from London, leaving passengers landing in Delhi facing an unpleasant surprise.
One passenger tweeted a video of co-passengers arguing with a man in a blue PPE, and said: “@HardeepSPuri… Just came from London AI112, it’s absolutely maniac at Delhi Airport. Asking us to go for institutional quarantine even with Negative PCR test. Didn’t mention this on your [email protected]”
@HardeepSPuri Just came from London AI112, it’s absolutely maniac at Delhi Airport.
Asking us to go for institutional quarantine even with Negative PCR test.
Didn’t mention this on your SOP.@airindiainpic.twitter.com/B13HcbgVaG
— Harprit Takkar (@HarpritTakkar) January 8, 2021
The centre had suspended services between the two countries on December 23 over the new and more contagious strain of the virus. While India has lifted the ban, many major European countries like France, Spain and Germany have extended it.
The number of people who have tested positive for the new UK variant has climbed to 82.