20 Keralites stuck in Delhi hotel over quarantine norms for UK returnees

RT-PCR test on arrival, separate isolation for COVID positive cases: Centre's SOPs for UK flyers
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New Delhi: Twenty people belonging to seven Keralite families are now stranded in Delhi after they had arrived on a flight from Britain last Friday. While most other India-bound passengers, who were initially barred by the authorities to continue their journey as per the latest quarantine norms, returned home on Saturday, these 20 people were transferred to a hotel by authorities.

Their predicament results from the central government’s stipulation that those from the United Kingdom, where a new strain of the coronavirus has been discovered of late, should stay in quarantine for a week even if they have tested negative for COVID-19.

Accordingly, the 20 people were shifted to a hotel near the airport. While the others were told to shift to hotels, they raised a hue and cry with the Delhi authorities.

On being informed about the hotel quarantine by the passengers, Kerala Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, MPs KC Venugopal, Kodikunnil Suresh and Hibi Eden had got in touch with the Union civil aviation and health ministries. Following this, other passengers were allowed to travel home.

But while most of the passengers have been allowed to go home, those kept in the hotel said it is unfair that they are still being kept in quarantine. The hotel is reportedly charging a hefty amount for the quarantine stay.

Airport officials said they will not be able do anything about the families as they are now not on airport premises.

KC Venugopal, MP, wrote a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday asking him to intervene and take immediate action to ensure the families reach home soon.

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