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No Covid Checking at Kolkata and Delhi Airports; A First-Hand Account

At the Kolkata Airport, there was a thermal checking station but no one was present there for checking. (News18)

At the Kolkata Airport, there was a thermal checking station but no one was present there for checking. (News18)

The Kolkata-Delhi-Kolkata journey of the writer reflects a serious question on how we are checking Covid and the new variant.

Omicron the new variant has again beefed up Covid security everywhere. Naturally, the first place to have extra vigil is airports. So flight journey nowadays means one has to keep ready vaccination certificates and if the said vaccination course is due then RTPCR test is a must.

Amidst such a situation, air travel definitely means keeping everything ready before a trip.

This is a first-hand report of the writer.

I was scheduled to travel to Delhi from Kolkata on December 1. My flight was at 7.45 am from Kolkata and to follow the Covid guidelines, as per the instructions given, one has to reach early at the airport.

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Through messages, the airline company has instructed to go for web-checking and in that procedure, a health form was given. I filled up that form and wrote that my vaccination course was over. There was no column there where proof of the vaccination was to be uploaded. As I entered the Kolkata airport around 6.30 am, the CISF personnel checked my ID proof and ticket as usual. When I asked the officer whether he would like to see my vaccination certificate, he said no. There was no thermal checking either. I was surprised but thought all those things will be checked at the airlines counter.

As I went to the counter with my baggage, procedures were done but neither I was asked about my vaccination nor there were any arrangements of thermal screening.

Still, I thought there will be some Covid checking during the security check, or during the final boarding time.

But no checking took place anywhere. I was surprised but expected that from at least in the Delhi airport as the National Capital has more traffic from all over India and abroad at the airport.

My return ticket was on December 8 evening.

As I reached the T2 airport gate, there was a huge queue and it was written at various places that social distance should be maintained. To my surprise in Delhi too they did not ask for my vaccination certificate and here too I did not face any thermal checking. I don’t know what norms were followed for the international visitors but nothing was checked on the domestic front.

But a couple of times, there were announcements regarding wearing masks and sanitisation. As I arrived at the Kolkata airport while I was going out from gate number 1A, there was a thermal checking station but no one was present there to check.

This total episode of the Kolkata-Delhi-Kolkata journey puts a serious question on how we are checking the new variant.

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first published:December 09, 2021, 19:48 IST