Mangaluru, May 17, 2020: With 20 passengers who came on the Vande Baharat Mission Air India Express repatriation flight from Dubai testing positive for Covid-19 and other issues faced at the time of their arrival, the Dakshina Kannada district administration has been forced to make changes at the airport.
According to sources, the district administration came under fire after many repatriates, especially pregnant women, alleged several discrepancies and ill-treatment, after landing at the Mangaluru International Airport on the night of May 12. The second repatriation flight to Mangaluru from Dubai will land on Monday. “The district administration has made several changes before the second repatriation flight lands here. One of the major changes is that details about hotels and their fares, where repatriates can get quarantined, will be made available at the Dubai Airport itself, so that evacuees have enough time to decide where they want to stay,” added a source, who is a government official.
When STOI contacted Rahul Shinde, probationary IAS officer, who is in charge of the quarantine facilities for the repatriates, he said that several changes have been made. “The changes are not due to what happened earlier, or several repatriates testing positive for Covid-19, but for everything to happen smoothly at the airport, when repatriation flights land,” he stressed.
He said that porters have been deputed at the Mangaluru International Airport. Secondly, more counters for hotel bookings for institutional quarantine have been arranged. A list of hotels and their fares will be made available for repatriates at the Dubai Airport itself. “This will allow repatriates ample time to decide their preferable accommodation, before they land at Mangaluru. It will also minimise confusion,” he said, and added that all the passengers must sign an undertaking for institutional quarantine before boarding their flight. However, for those cannot afford to pay for quarantine, the district administration has arranged free stay for them at hostels of government educational institutions, he said.
It can be recalled that during the first repatriation flight, which had brought about 38 pregnant women and ailing passengers to Mangaluru, it had been alleged that they had been mistreated, and made to stand for several hours without food and water. Sources added that the second repatriation flight that will land at MIA will also have several pregnant women on board.
Courtesy: Times of India