Jyotiraditya Scindia intervenes as passengers complaint of overcrowding at IGI
New Delhi : Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia On Monday asked the Delhi airport operator DIAL to make arrangements for better crowd management at the IGI airport after passengers complained of chaos as the Omicron-related travel guidelines came into effect. In the images from the Delhi airport passengers can be seen waiting in long queues and a total absence of any social distancing; several passengers have tagged the airport as "Covid hotspot".
Soon after the news reports on the overcrowding, Jyotiraditya Scindia held a meeting with officials of the Airports Authority of India, Bureau of Immigration and GMR group-led Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), reported news agency Press Trust of India.
Officials of Genestrings Diagnostics, the sole laboratory that does RT-PCR testing at the Delhi airport, were also present at the meeting, PTI reported.
During the meeting, Mr Scindia asked DIAL officials to come up with better crowd management strategies, reported PTI quoting un-named government officials.
As per the new guidelines issued by the Centre on November 30, all passengers coming from "at-risk" countries have to take a mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival. To cut down on waiting time, many have been taking the more expensive rapid PCR tests - which come at a hefty Rs 3,500. The normal RT-PCR test costs Rs 500.
Commenting on a tweet about the situation at the Delhi airport, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram had said: "As I feared and warned. Total confusion and crowding in airports."
The Union health ministry has named several countries in Europe -- including the UK -- South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Israel in the "at-risk" category.
As of now, 25 Omicron cases have been detected in India - nine in Rajasthan, twelve in Maharashtra, two in Karnataka and one each in Delhi and Gujarat.