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Over 45K applied for quarantine exemption at Delhi airport, 27K allowed

 New Delhi:

As many as 890 international passengers were exempted from institutional quarantine every day upon their arrival at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport, the airport operator said on Wednesday.

Of the total 45,288 incoming passengers who applied for exemption through the Air Suvidha facility -- which the operator launched on August 8 -- 27,705 were allowed to continue with their onward journey or go home till September 8, the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) said in a statement.

At present, all international passengers arriving in Delhi need to go for a compulsory institutional quarantine.

Air Suvidha is a first-of-its-kind portal where international passengers can apply online for exemption from the mandatory institutional quarantine process, but only in certain categories.

A passenger can be granted exemption only in five conditions -- pregnancy, serious illness, death in the family, travelling with a child below 10 years or having a negative RT-PCR report of a test conducted a maximum of 96 hours prior to the journey.

According to airport officials, at least 5,000 international passengers arrived at the Delhi airport every day last month, totalling around 1.5 lakh.

The Air Suvidha portal also allows passengers to fill the mandatory self-declaration form online in order to save time after landing.

The airport operator said that between August 8 and September 8, a total of 78,700 passengers filled their self-declaration forms online, through the portal, of which only 77 passengers were found symptomatic and were handed over to Airport Health Organisation for necessary assistance.

DIAL said the highest number of applications received in past one month was from the United States at 15,027 followed by the UAE (4,512) and then from the United Kingdom (4,094). 3,416 requests were received from Canada and 2,687 from Australia till September 8.

Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO DIAL, said having an approved exemption form or a self-declaration form submitted through the Air Suvidha portal not only improved the quarantine process but also proved to be time-efficient.

“The portal has mitigated the problem of inordinate delay while queueing up for quarantine process. Passengers can also avoid the hassle of filling physical copies of self-declaration,” he said.

DIAL said passengers seeking exemption under the five specific categories will need to fill the forms available on the Delhi Airport website -- www.newdelhiairport.in.

Supporting documents along with a copy of their passports have to be submitted at least 72 hours before boarding their flights. However, this time cap does not apply to passengers submitting the self-declaration form.

The online forms have been developed in collaboration with the ministry of civil aviation, ministry of health and family welfare, ministry of external affairs and governments of various states and union territories, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh, DIAL said.