Over the past few days, with the national capital recording upwards of 4,000 cases on Sunday, several air travellers have been complaining that COVID-19 prevention norms like wearing face masks and observing social distancing are being ignored.
Delhi Airport: With the growing number of COVID-19 cases again, challans are being issued to flyers for violating social distancing norms at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Over the past few days, with the national capital recording upwards of 4,000 cases on Sunday, several air travellers have been complaining that COVID-19 prevention norms like wearing face masks and observing social distancing are being ignored. Since Friday, enforcement teams under the DDMA (Delhi Disaster Management Authority), have started issuing Rs 2,000 challans to violators inside the airport premises. A government official was quoted in an IE report saying on April 2, ten enforcement teams were deployed, of which four teams were in T2 and six teams were in T3. The official further said that around 70 people are being issued challans per day.
At present, nearly 850 flights take off and land in the national capital each day. In both terminals, air traffic movement is around 70%-75% of pre-pandemic numbers. The DDMA had ordered random tests earlier as novel coronavirus cases shot up. A source was quoted in the report saying that every day, close to 1,000 people are being tested at random. Of that, about 2% have tested Covid positive. Those who test positive of novel coronavirus have to undergo mandatory quarantine. As per DDMA guidelines, passengers who are found COVID-19 positive shall be mandatorily quarantined or isolated at their place of stay or CHG/CCC/Hospital for a duration of 10 days, according to the government’s prescribed protocol.
According to the report, passengers are being tested at the arrival hall of both terminals. Inside both terminals of the airport, teams of civil defence volunteers, as well as lab technicians, have been placed and flyers are informed about the COVID-19 testing once they have landed at the airport and are given the option to get tested. Currently, there are two teams in each terminal and there are plans to deploy four more teams in order to increase randomised testing, the government official said.
Also, there has been a delay in reopening the airport’s T-1, which was supposed to have started taking flyers in the last week of March. This was, however, delayed since airport officials said the other two terminals of IGI airport were equipped to handle passenger load.