New Delhi: After the images of crowds and chaos at Delhi airport went viral on Monday amid rising concerns over the Omicron variant of coronavirus, Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stepped in and asked the Delhi airport operator DIAL to take steps to improve the situation.Also Read - Republic Day: Restrictions On Charter & Non-Scheduled Commercial Flights At Delhi Airport. Details Here

Pictures gone viral from the Delhi airport since December 1 have been giving an impression of a crowded railway station, with hordes of masked passengers waiting for Covid tests and its results for anywhere up to eight hours. With no norms for social distancing, many have described the airport as a “Covid hotspot”. Also Read - Travelling to India From UAE? Follow These Updated Travel Guidelines

After news reports and tweets about the situation, Scindia held a meeting on Monday with officials of the Airports Authority of India, Bureau of Immigration and GMR group-led Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), reported news agency PTI. Officials of Genestrings Diagnostics, the sole laboratory that does RT-PCR testing at the Delhi airport, were also present at the meeting, it added. The minister directed the DIAL to implement better crowd management strategies, government officials were quoted as saying. Also Read - Superfast Train To Connect Haryana's Hisar With Delhi Soon, Preparation Underway: Report

Under the Centre’s guidelines of November 30, all passengers coming from “at-risk” countries have to take a mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival. Besides, two per cent of passengers arriving from other countries would also have to take the test on a random basis. All of them have to wait for results and are allowed out of the airport only if they test negative.

To cut down on waiting time, many have been taking the more expensive rapid PCR tests — which come at a hefty Rs 3,500 and provide a result in two hours. The waiting time for a normal RT-PCR test, which costs Rs 500, is six to eight hours.

(With PTI inputs)