Monday, March 23, 2020

Flier recounts moments after landing in Calcutta

Calcutta: Shrenik Avlani, who arrived from Bangkok to Calcutta early on Sunday on one of the last international flights to the city, recounted his experience to The Telegraph. The Centre has banned all international flights to India from March 22 for a week

There was no seizing of passports or baggage in the empty international arrivals hall of Calcutta airport when one of the last international flights — Thai Airways flight TG313 from Bangkok — landed around 12.20 am. The passengers, normally in a rush, were calm and got out of the aircraft in a surprisingly orderly manner. The exit was smooth and everything looked normal till the passengers were stopped before reaching immigration.

Four to six people in masks, protective eyewear and scrubs, complete with gloves, asked the passengers to form a queue in front of an instrument that looked like a camera with a spout. The man operating the instrument called the passengers to stand in front of it one by one, while the rest of the men in makeshift hazmat suits kept an eye on the passengers. Two of them collected the ministry of health and family welfare’s self-reporting form for all international passengers, while asking the passengers to stay far away from them.

Once past this, the passengers were stopped by the airline staff at the point where the immigration queue begins. After about 20 minutes, they let the passengers queue up at the immigration counter, where most immigration officials asked the passengers to leave their passports and boarding passes at the counter and move back and stand at the yellow line about 8feet away.
23/03/20 Shrenik Avlani/Telegraph
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