Chennai: A total number 1,212 expatriate Indians, who were stranded for the last five months due to Covid-19 induced lockdown and the subsequent grounding of flights, arrived from ten countries in 12 special flights under the Vande Bharat mission at the Anna International airport on Sunday.
Sources said the stranded Indians arrived from USA, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Sharjah, Bahrain, Oman, Dubai, Qatar, Jeddah and Sri Lanka in private and Vande Bharat flights.
After the mandatory health check-ups and immigration clearances, all the 1,212 passengers were quarantined for 14 days.
Of them, 164 passengers, who arrived from Bahrain in a Gulf Airlines flight, staged a protest and picked up argument with the airport authorities after they were not allowed free government testing, to ascertain whether they were exposed to the coronavirus and the government quarantine facility, as they landed in the through private agents.
The passengers claimed that the agent had taken money before boarding the flight in Bahrain for the medical tests and for the 14-day quarantine stay and demanded action against the agents.
They also refused to leave the airport following which the officials and police pacified them and assured them that action would be taken if a formal complaint was given.
After the passengers agreed to it, all of them were subjected to free medical tests at the airport itself. Later, 115 of them were sent for 14 day government quarantine centre and the remaining 49 were taken to a hotel where they would be quarantined.
In another incident, about 40 of 93 passengers, who arrived in an Air India flight from Chicago in USA via Delhi, complained that their luggages have not arrived and that they offloaded in Delhi itself.
The passengers surrounded the Air India counter and argued with the staff members. Following an assurance that their luggages would reach them at the private quarantine centres where they would be staying, the passengers left for the hotels.