Depending on who exactly you are and how you perceive it, the T3 airport, i.e., the international Delhi airport, at this point in time could mean any among the things for you. For starters and this is a basic definition, the T3 Delhi airport is what it means universally to one and all: one of the most popular destinations for all international visitors steeping in an India punctuated by a plethora of places to see.
And the other, provided you understand the place from a little more depth than just the exquisite charm of the mega infrastructure investment, the Delhi airport is in absolute mess right now.
And there’s a reason for the above, truth be told. Not long after the new Coronavirus variant, i.e., the Omicron was known to have reached Delhi just hours back, apparently carried into the country by an African who just got back to India, it could be said two things have happened and that they’ve happened for the worse.
First, which is but normal: there’s a sense of chaos at the Delhi airport T3 for the simple reason that the authorities are being cautious about every passenger who is stepping outside the confines of the airport and thus, entering the city.
And second, that for a normal test to happen and for passengers to be screened, as a result of the above, in order to ensure one doesn’t test positive for the new variant threat, a lot of time is being consumed for all checks and balances.
The latter, one supposes, is a result of the usual mess that several of India’s transportation hubs undergo or endure during tense times such as the pandemic. And yet, the ensuing chaos, it must be said, is a result of the sheer mass of people that, at one point in time, have to be tested, screen, and then declared whether or not positive for the new variant.
Wherever one sees and goes, whether in any urban city, there usually is a large concentration of people in the country. By that logic, it’s hardly a surprise and yet, unsettling to know what news portals had to report.
The very fact that no fewer than 2 hours at a time are going into testing of passengers who are present at the Delhi airport is not a very encouraging piece of news and one that can actually make even the coolest minds tense.
Having said the above, the following news updates came from an NDTV feature on just what is exactly happening at the moment at the T3 Delhi airport:
Visuals from the international flights terminal showed long queues of masked-up passengers waiting to get tested with no sign of physical distancing, with some of them describing the airport as a “hotspot”.
There are two options to get tested – passengers can pay ₹ 3,500 for a Rapid PCR test in which the result comes within 2 hours; the alternative is taking a regular RT-PCR test for ₹ 500 and spending 6-8 hours waiting for the result.
Despite the long wait and the high costs, there are questions regarding how effectively the surveillance norms are being implemented.
That being said, a question that emerges taking into cognisance all that’s presently happening at the airport is whether what’s happening in the name of efficient screening and testing is efficient in the first place? Moreover, is this traveling or undergoing some sort of ordeal in India? Will things even change a bit in the times to come?