Passengers protest at Amritsar airport over delay in virus testing
Passengers who arrived at Amritsar's Sri Guru Ramdas Jee International Airport from the UK protested against the authorities over the alleged delay in carrying out their coronavirus tests. Their family members on Tuesday claimed that they had to wait for hours. The authorities, however, said the clearance may take some more time as every passenger and crew member needs to be tested.
The Air India flight from the UK with 250 passengers and 18 crew members had landed at 12.30 am last night. Relatives of passengers told the media that several passengers protested at the airport due to the delay in testing for the infection. All passengers coming from the UK through flights till Tuesday midnight will be mandatorily tested for COVID-19 on arrival at airports.
India has suspended all passenger flights from the UK till December 31 in wake of the emergence of a mutated variant of coronavirus there, joining several other countries that have imposed a similar flight ban.
Ankush, a resident of Faridkot in Punjab, said his brother Ankur had arrived from the UK on the flight. "All our family members have been waiting for him for the past several hours," he said, accusing the authorities of not informing them about the clearance time. Amrik Singh, whose son Sukhwinder arrived from the UK, said he hadn't met him yet.
Amrik Singh alleged, "I have inquired from the airport authorities about the test report of my son a number of times but they keep saying that it will take two hours more... why have all passengers been detained for more than 12 hours?"
A team of health authorities deputed at the airport took samples of all passengers and crew members. Amritsar Assistant Deputy Commissioner Himanshu Aggarwal said the sampling process started as soon as the flight landed last night. Each passenger and crew member have to undergo an RT-PCR test, he said, adding that passengers were provided with food.