A fresh batch of ink is being used in the COVID-19 quarantine stamp for international passengers at the Delhi international airport after a Congress leader complained about pain and itchiness due to the chemical used in it, said senior government officials on Monday.
"After the complaint, the Delhi state authorities have started using a fresh batch of ink to stamp incoming international passengers," said one of the officials.
As per rules, all international passengers have to undergo seven days of institutional quarantine followed by seven days of home quarantine post arriving in Delhi. However, certain categories of passengers like those with COVID-negative certificates from a test done 96 hours prior to the journey are exempted from institutional quarantine.
Passengers who have to undergo quarantine at home are stamped "home quarantine" on their hands by the Delhi state authorities when they are leaving the Delhi airport.
Madhu Goud Yaskhi, National Secretary and Spokesperson, Congress asked Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Twitter on Sunday if he can "please look into the chemical being used at Delhi airport for stamping on passengers coming from abroad".
Dear @HardeepSPuri Ji, can you please look into the chemical being used at Delhi airport for stamping on passengers coming from abroad? Yesterday I was stamped at @DelhiAirport and this is how my hands look now. pic.twitter.com/Gt1tZvGc8L— Madhu Goud Yaskhi (@MYaskhi) October 4, 2020
He said he was stamped when he came from abroad to Delhi on Saturday and it has been "continuously painful and itchy".
Puri replied: "Thank you for drawing my attention to this. A have spoken to CMD AAI (Airports Authority of India)."
However, since Delhi airport is managed by GMR-group led DIAL, it replied to Yaskhi on Twitter that "this batch of ink is being kept aside for testing by the supplier and further desired action".
"We deeply regret the inconvenience caused. The ink used for stamping is a standard indelible ink. We've reported the issue to the Delhi state authorities," the DIAL added.
Senior government officials said on Monday that the Delhi state authorities at the airport have started using a fresh batch of ink to stamp the incoming international passengers.
Officials said that domestic passengers arriving in Delhi also have to undergo seven-day home quarantine as per the rules but they are not stamped on their hands.
Scheduled international passenger services continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Special international flights have been operating under Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble arrangements with other countries since July.