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Drop flyers flouting Covid norms: DGCA

FILE PHOTO

New Delhi: After a Delhi High Court directive on strict adherence to Covid protocol earlier this week, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told the airport authorities and airline operators to ensure compliance.

“Passengers should be deboarded if they don’t wear mask properly or don’t follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. If required, they should be dealt with as per law and put on no-fly list,” the regulator said.

The development came on a day India registered 24,882 new Covid cases, the highest in 83 days since December 20 when 26,624 cases were seen.

The active caseload touched 2,02,022, the highest in 72 days. The last highest active caseload was 2,00,528 on January 16. In some good news, the country saw the highest single day inoculations today with a record 20,53,537 doses being administered on the 56th day of the vaccination drive. Even as the cases continue to rise steadily, experts at the ICMR said the surge could not be counted as a new wave yet. It said speedy inoculation was the way forward to achieve herd immunity and ward off a second wave.

The DGCA directed the airlines to treat a passenger as “unruly” — for which rules provide for putting the offender in the no-fly list for periods varying from three months to up to a lifetime — in case the person violates the protocols.

The DGCA also asked to ensure no one enters the premises without a mask.

“The airport director or terminal manager must ensure that passengers do so. In case any passenger is not following the protocol, he/she should be handed over to the security agency after a warning,” it said.