NEW DELHI: With the fear of coronavirus forcing people to cancel their travel plans, aviation minister H S Puri on Friday said he will make “suitable recommendations to private airlines for (waiving) rescheduling charges”. Air India, he said, has already done the same and now he will see how to ensure relief for flyers from private airlines also.
“Travel is still happening, though essential. Holidayers may be cancelling plans but travellers for work are rescheduling dates. We are working on cancellation fee issue,” Puri said.
Airlines, both AI and some private Indian carriers, have been waiving cancellation and rescheduling charges to places in the grip of coronavirus like southeast Asia and the far East.
Puri said Indian airports are fully geared up to screen the 70,000 international arrivals they receive on a daily basis across 30 airports. India has started screening passengers flying in from all countries since Thursday noon.
“Between January 18 and March 5, when we were screening passengers from 12 countries (10 initially with Italy and Iran added later), almost 6.5 lakh passengers, who came in on 6,551 flights, were screened using thermal scanners. Of these, 611 were referred for further testing and swab tests were done on 84,” Puri said.
“So far only 31 positive cases have been detected in India. Out of these, three people have already been treated and discharged in Kerala. Of the remaining 28 cases, 16 were from a single group of tourists from Italy and one was their attached driver. They have been quarantined and are under treatment,” the minister said.
From an average of screening 13,530 earlier, Indian airports will now be screening almost five times more arrivals. Major airports have got thermal scanners while smaller ones are using other equipment to measure temperature. The screening, say officials, is leading to a wait for up to 10 minutes. There are no separate thermal scanning counters, where incoming international passengers have to submit self-declaration forms giving their travel history and contact number, fRead More – Source