Many overseas Indians, who can’t help taking flights to India for compelling reasons this ‘Coronavirus’ season, are concerned about the COVID19 screening of incoming passengers at Indian airports and how the world’s second most populated country is trying to contain the spread of the deadly virus. An Indian American, who traveled to India from USA 14 days before Indian government issued the revised travel advisory to be effective starting March 13, gives a real-life picture of the Novel Coronavirus screening in India.
I feel like sharing a pleasant experience with you all regarding the seriousness of Indian government in containing the Novel Coronavirus spread in India. I traveled from Seattle to New Delhi via Tokyo in the last week of February 2020 and underwent the Novel Coronavirus screening on arrival at IGI International Airport. That day only the passengers of flights from Japan, Singapore, Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong were being screened. All good so far! I collected my bags and left for my native home. Three days of terrible jet lag kept me indoors.
On the fourth day of my stay in India; it was Sunday, I had the most unexpected visit by a team of five persons from RML Hospital and the Airport authority. They had all my flight details with them. They asked me if I was feeling well. They said they came and visited me to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
I was confused and said that I was absolutely fine and that I was screened at New Delhi airport too. They said that though all was well with the passengers of our flight, but there was a flight from Italy at the same time on that day, whose passengers were not put to the Coronavirus screening at Delhi Airport. Most probably, the passengers of both flights – the one via Japan and the one from Italy – collected their checked-in luggage at the same time. So, just to rule out any chances for the COVID19 infection, the team was visiting the passengers, who were in the baggage carousel area that day, and advising them to go into self-quarantine (for 15 days from the day of arrival in India).
Unbelievable! Indian government officials, working on a holiday and reaching out to each passenger personally, was simply unheard of till then! They left some phone numbers to be reached in case I feel unwell. My self-quarantine was just 2 days ago. I did not step outdoors for two weeks and am proud of having done my bit to help the government to contain the spread of the disease.
I am sharing this because it is very easy to criticize and abuse the government. I feel it is very important to appreciate and give credit where it is due! Thanks to the concerned government, the tireless officials, the doctors and the airport staff; they all are doing their job with the utmost honesty and sincerity!!! Well done!