Jeddah: Some NRIs, who travelled to Hyderabad, have complained that staff at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad, who were assigned to implement quarantine rules, were causing difficulties to the passengers after disembarkation.
The passengers alleged that the officials at the Hyderabad airport are not adhering to rules pertaining to international flights and AIR SUVIDHA. The Union government had made available a self-declaration form online instead of queuing up at airports. All incoming passengers can fill the AIR SUVIDHA form and apply for exemption from mandatory institutional quarantine.
AIR SUVIDHA, a first-of-its-kind portal, was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and various State governments.
Oman resident Nandimalla Veenakumari of Mahbubnagar district completed all the required formalities as per AIR SUVIDHA after testing negative for Covid-19 through RT-PCR test in Muscat and travelled to Hyderabad.
However, Veenakumari was shocked to find that officials at the airport refused to entertain the RT-PCR certificate. She was forced to shell out Rs 8,000 for hotel quarantine and shifted to a hotel in Secunderabad, despite having all required documents and meeting the criteria set by Indian government.
In another case, Ghazala, a resident of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and hailing from Toli Chowki travelled to Hyderabad, and since she was unwell, she carried all the medical reports with her. She was, however, asked to opt for hotel quarantine, but the officials relented after a long argument, her husband Mohammed Mubeen said.
In a similar case, Mohammed Nadeem, resident of Jagitial, who works in the United Kingdom, rushed home to see his sick parents. Nadeem tested negative for Covid-19 through RT-PCR test in Britain and uploaded the report in AIR SUVIDHA. He too was not allowed to go home immediately. Airport staff tried in vain to force him to go for hotel quarantine, but after some heated arguments with them, he was allowed to leave the airport.
The number of NRI arrivals has been on the rise after India established air bubbles with several countries. The online self-declaration and quarantine exemption portal can help swift, informed decisions on granting exemptions as well as to ascertain the health status of passengers.
Exemption from institutional quarantine is considered only if a passenger falls under one of the five categories—pregnancy, death in family, serious illness, accompanied by children below 10 years and tested negative for Covid-19 via a recent RT-PCR test.
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