Stuck at Delhi airport for 55 days, German man leaves for Amsterdam
A 40-year-old German, who lived in the transit area of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport for 55 days as he could not fly out amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) lockdown, left for Amsterdam on Tuesday in a special relief flight after turning down offers to be taken to his home country, officials said.
HT reported on Monday that Ziebat was living at the airport since March 18 after he arrived in New Delhi from Hanoi as a transit passenger on his way to Istanbul. March 18 was the day India banned all flights to Turkey to contain the spread of Covid-19. Four days later, India stopped all international flights.
Before he flew out of Delhi at 3am on Tuesday, Zeibat was screened for Covid-19 and did not show any symptoms. He was recently served a “Leave India” notice by authorities. In the paperwork before taking the flight with 291 other people, Ziebat mentioned Terminal 3 as his house in India and the Indira Gandhi International airport as the place of his stay in the country, an airport official said on condition of anonymity.
Another senior official of the Delhi airport said Ziebart told them on Monday he planned to leave India as soon as a flight was available. “Around 3am, he boarded Flight KL872. There were total 292 passengers onboard that flight. It was a special flight being operated from Delhi to Amsterdam. Because he was eligible to go to Europe, he was allowed to leave. His tickets cost him around Rs 43,000. He paid for his tickets on his own,” he added, asking not to be named.
In his self-reporting form, which has been mandated by the ministry of health and family welfare for all international passengers, Ziebart mentioned Terminal 3 as his house and Delhi’s IGI Airport as his place of stay in India. His body temperature was checked and he told the medical staff that he did not have fever, coughing or any respiratory disorder, the officer added.
An airport official earlier indicated that Ziebat, who has not applied for an Indian visa, was unlikely to get one even if he did because of a prior criminal record in Germany.
A spokesperson for the German embassy in New Delhi told HT on Monday that Ziebat was offered a passage back to Germany, but he declined the offer.
Another airport official said Ziebat was issued a “Leave India” notice and “he was asked to make arrangements for his departure from the country.” The notice was served because an international passenger can normally stay in transit for just one day according to Indian laws.