Some passengers who arrived in Mangaluru on board the first repatriation flight from Dubai two days ago have complained about 'lack' of proper arrangements for handling the returnees, prompting the Dakshina Kannada district administration to take up the matter with airport authorities.
Referring to the inadequacies flagged by the repatriates, district Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sindhu B Rupesh has written to Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) Director VV Rao, urging him to personally oversee arrangements when passengers arrive in next special flights, official sources said on Thursday.
Some of the passengers, who arrived by the Air India Express flight, later said the airport did not have sufficient staff to handle the repatriates, who included pregnant women and those who required medical support.
Also, the procedures at the airport took a long time and the staff did not properly brief the returnees, they had alleged.
In his letter, the DC referred to the inadequacies and said she had issued prior directions to the airport authorities to extend support to the passengers.
She requested the airport director to personally oversee the arrangements during the next flight to make sure that such incidents do not recur and help the district administration in coordinating with airport authorities and the airlines in bringing the passengers.
The first repatriation flight to Mangaluru from Dubai landed at the MIA late Tuesday night with 177 passengers, who included 38 pregnant women and 12 medical emergency cases.
All the foreign returnees were screened as per the standard operating procedure to ensure they were asymptomatic for COVID-19 and then taken to their chosen place of accommodation in KSRTC buses for 14 days quarantine.
Incidentally, 19 passengers who reached Bengaluru via special train from New Delhi on Thursday chose to return as they did not want to be put in institutional quarantine.
This was made possible by attaching an extra coach to the train that was scheduled to leave for Delhi in the evening