Covid testing delays passengers by 12 hours at Amritsar airport, while relatives protest outside
More than 200 passengers and 10 crew members of the Air India flight from London have been waiting at the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport for more than 12 hours since 12 am on Tuesday. The authorities have informed that the delay is caused by the new Centre government guidelines urging airports to conduct RT-PCR tests on everyone coming from the UK.
However, according to some sources, the test, which should not take more than 6-8 hours, had been delayed considerably, leading to relatives waiting outside to resort to anti-government chants. According to the Union Ministry of Health, the state government has to make sure that all passengers coming from the UK are tested for Covid-19 using RT-PCR on arrival, and if tested positive, they would have to be moved to a separate isolation facility. The passengers are not to be allowed out of the airport until tested negative. The passengers will also have to submit a self-declaration form alongside a travel history of the past 14 days.
This, however, has led to problems at the Amritsar airport with passengers and their relatives waiting outside getting impatient with the delayed protocols. While the airport authorities have asked everyone to wait patiently, they have also asked the Punjab police to keep the situation peaceful.
Meanwhile, two people have already tested positive for Covid at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata on Sunday and one man has been tested positive at Chennai airport. The man came from Britain via transit through Delhi. Authorities have asked people to remain calm, and the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that the situation is under control.