Gujarat Exclusive > National-World > Standoff at Amritsar airport as evacuees say they can’t afford paid quarantine

Standoff at Amritsar airport as evacuees say they can’t afford paid quarantine

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Many Vande Bharat evacuees from Dubai who landed in Amritsar, Punjab created a ruckus after they claimed that they were forced to take up paid quarantine facilities. The first, flight since lockdown landed at the Amritsar International Airport on Thursday with 178 passengers who had a tiff with the authorities as they claimed they had no money to afford paid quarantine at hotels.

Passengers said that upon landing they were told they could leave the airport only if they agreed to a quarantine in hotels which charged Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,800 per day per person. The passengers said that they could not even afford food back in Dubai and had survived on charity and were not in a position to pay for the quarantine.

A passenger who was found symptomatic was shifted to Government Medical College hospital, Amritsar. Passengers who had landed at the airport also uploaded videos of arguments with the officials and local administration and a crowd soon surged throwing social distancing norms to the wind.

Officials, meanwhile, said that there was some miscommunication in the matter. Sub divisional magistrate Deepak Bhatia was quoted as saying that no one was forced to stay at a hotel. The passengers, he said were given a choice of six hotels and those who chose to stay at hotels were sent there while the rest who could not afford it chose to stay at the government quarantine center for free.