Delhi airport's online portal has received approximately 45,288 applications from international passengers since August 8 to avail exemption from seven-day institutional quarantine, said its operator DIAL on Wednesday. The government had said last month that from August 8, if any arriving international passenger has a negative report from an RT-PCR test done 96 hours prior to the journey, he or she need not undergo institutional quarantine in India. Delhi airport had launched an online portal for this purpose.
Over 78,700 international passengers submitted their self-declaration form through the portal, the DIAL said in a press release.
It added that 77 out of over 78,700 flyers were found to be symptomatic and were escorted to the Airport Health Organisation (APHO) for "necessary assistance and support".
The "Air Suvidha" portal received the highest number of quarantine exemption applications from the United States (15,027), UAE (4,512), UK (4,094), Canada (3,416) and Australia (2,687) till now, the DIAL noted.
As per the health ministry rules, incoming international passengers need to undergo seven-day institutional quarantine followed by seven-day home quarantine in India.
Moreover, every passenger has to submit a self-declaration form that they have not tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks prior to the flight, as per the rules.
The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) had launched the portal on August 8 so that arriving international passengers can fill mandatory self-declaration forms and eligible passengers can apply for exemption from compulsory institutional quarantine.
"Based on the applications received for Delhi as first (entry) airport, approx. 45,288 forms for exemption from institutional quarantine have been submitted by international passengers through this portal. A majority of the applications were approved in a timely manner," the DIAL noted.
The Civil Aviation Ministry had last Wednesday said that international passengers, who have to take connecting domestic flights after landing in India, will have the option of getting themselves tested for COVID-19 at the entry airports.
If the RT-PCR test result is negative, the international passengers will be allowed to board his or her connecting domestic flight and he or she will not need to undergo any institutional quarantine, the ministry's order said.
Delhi airport is likely to start this on-arrival testing facility from mid-September.
An international passenger who does not have a COVID-negative result certificate from a test done not more than 96 hours prior to the journey, and does not opt for an on-arrival testing facility at the entry airport, will have to compulsorily undergo seven-day institutional quarantine followed by seven-day home quarantine.
Scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.
However, special international passenger flights have been operating in India under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble arrangements between India and other countries since July.
Domestic flights resumed in India after a gap of two months on May 25.
(With PTI agencies)