'Ruckus On Goa's First Vande Bharat Flight Unacceptable'

The Goa government has taken "very serious note" of the disruption caused by passengers of the state's first Vande Bharat flight from Dubai to Goa's Dabolim international airport on Tuesday, by insisting on going back to their respective homes, instead of heading to mandatory paid quarantine in an institutional facility, state Health Secretary Nila Mohanan said.

The official also told a press conference on Tuesday that six confirmed new cases of COVID-19 were detected in Goa, while 13 persons were cured, bringing down the state's active COVID-19 tally to 22.

Speaking about the disruption caused at the airport caused by passengers from the Dubai-Goa flight on Tuesday, Mohanan said, that protests by the passengers, most of whom were from Goa, resulted in a delay of several hours at the airport.

"A very unfortunate set of events occurred at the Dabolim airport, when the Vande Bharat flight from Dubai landed... When the passengers reached Dabolim airport, they raised a hue and cry, that they will not go to a paid institution quarantine and that they wanted to go to their homes," Mohanan said.

"This created very very unpleasant situation at the airport. Their behaviour is violative of a whole lot of clauses that have been laid down under the MHA and MEA guidelines," she added.

The state's first Vande Bharat flight repatriating Indians stranded in Dubai was carrying 155 passengers, most of whom were from Goa, while the flight also had some passengers from Maharashtra and Karnataka onboard.

Mohanan said the behaviour of the passengers, was violative of Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Union External Affairs ministry guidelines for passengers signing up for the Vande Bharat mission for repatriation to India.

One of the guidelines stipulates that all passengers travelling under the Vande Bharat aegis had to stay in paid quarantine facilities, before heading home.

"The commotion disturbed the smooth flow of passengers and the process of taking swabs. It was unacceptable. The government has taken very serious note of this," Mohanan said.