Recently two videos showing agitated passengers arguing with officials at an airport lounge have been doing the rounds on social media claiming that the situation at Delhi airport is that of chaos and mismanagement.
Facebook users claim that on March 18, 2020, at the Terminal 3 of Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), passports of the arriving passengers were taken away and not returned till the COVID-19 tests were done.
The videos show several passengers screaming "shoot us", "we do not feel safe here", "we do not want to stay here" and "please give back our passports".
The caption accompanying these posts read, "Big Chaos at New Delhi International airport T3 today morning. Now they are taking the passport of the arriving passengers and not returning them till all the tests are done. Even Indian citizens with Indian passport holders are not allowed to exit the airport. Passengers are screaming at police to kill them or shoot them. This is just unbelievable."
Shoot us, they screaming.— Indur Chhugani (@IndurChhugani) March 18, 2020
Big Chaos at New Delhi Int'l Airport T3 this morning.
Now they are holding passports of all arriving passengers, including Indians, till all the tests are done.
Passengers, not allowed to exit, are screaming at Police to shoot and kill them. pic.twitter.com/4nzYLiv5XU
Soni Razdan had first tweeted the videos with the viral claim but later took it down.
Deleting my tweet right away as this clarification has been issued by Delhi Airport. My only concern was the safety of those who could have spread the virus to each other (and to others) due to the way they were herded together, and not that people should not be checked. 🙏 https://t.co/YsSRfTnNa8— Soni Razdan (@Soni_Razdan) March 18, 2020
Passport of the passengers arriving at the T3 Of Delhi airport was taken away and kept till COVID-19 tests were completed, resulting in chaos at the airport on 18th March, 2020.
Digging into Twitter, it was found that the video is actually of an old incident of that occurred at the Terminal 3 of IGI Airport, New Delhi.
In reply to Soni Razdan's tweet, the official Twitter account of Delhi airport debunked the claim.
"Dear ma'am, The video being circulated is an old one. Currently, all immigration-related processes have been streamlined and operations are fully normal. We continue to work in close coordination with all stakeholders to minimize any inconvenience to the passengers," the tweet read.
Dear Ma'am,— Delhi Airport (@DelhiAirport) March 18, 2020
The video being circulated is an old one. Currently, all immigration-related processes have been streamlined and operations are fully normal. We continue to work in close coordination with all stakeholders to minimize any inconvenience to the passengers. [1/2]
India Today reported that the Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri also gave a statement at the parliament clarifying that the incident is three days old and did not happen on the morning of March 18.
In his statement, Puri was quoted as saying, "This is a three-day-old video. What happened that day was a number of flights arrived at the same time and that was the day we had introduced the mandatory quarantine' rule. But everything is smooth now."
According to the directions of the Health Ministry, all the travellers coming from or with travel history of visiting China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain, and Germany are to be quarantined for at least 14 days starting March 13.
The incident is seen in the video actually occurred at the Delhi airport within a couple of days after this particular advisory was implemented.
Reason Behind Scruffle
International passengers were not being allowed to exit the airport before a thorough check-up. The passengers refused to be quarantined and were complaining over the delay the whole process was taking. This led to the incident in the viral videos.
Screening for COVID-19 has been made compulsory for all travellers at the Delhi airport. Passengers arriving from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain and Germany are to be quarantined for at least 14 days.
Therefore, while the viral videos were actually shot at the T3 of IGI Airport, the incident originally occurred a couple of days ago.
The situation is normal now.
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Also Read: Top 10 COVID-19 Myths You Almost Believed