On Monday, over 500 passengers were stranded in Terminal 3 of the Delhi airport for nearly nine hours. Reason? They had to undergo the mandatory screening for coronavirus, but there reportedly wasn’t enough staff around to do it quickly enough.
The passengers flew in on a flight from Paris and another from Frankfurt, landing between 9 am and 10 am. They were directed to an isolated hall inside the terminal and told to queue up for screening. The screening took hours however, the passengers said, because there was not enough staff to do it.
They were made to wait for up to nine hours, the passengers complained, yet they weren’t even offered food by the authorities. There were several children and elderly among the passengers. “There was mismanagement and lack of cooperation from government officials on duty inside,” said one flyer who asked not to be identified.
In the evening, the passengers were led out in batches after their passports were taken away, bundled into busses, and taken to different quarantine facilities in and around Delhi. There, they would undergo tests and remain under observation for a few days. Several of them missed their connecting flights within India as a result.
Given the screening for international passengers at the Delhi airport, and elsewhere, is set to continue for the foreseeable future, the passengers urged the government to make the process smoother. They hoped that other travellers would not have to go through such a taxing experience.