Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi underwent Coronavirus test at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi as soon as he landed in India from Italy last week.
Highly placed sources in the government said that Rahul Gandhi followed the drill issued by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for passengers landing from Italy and certain other countries in the wake of Covid-19 virus spread.
The Congress leader landed in Delhi on Air India flight 138 from Milan on February 29 morning. Since Italy is among the nations on India’s watchlist for coronavirus, all passengers disembarking were requested to undergo the necessary tests.
Rahul Gandhi was returning to the country after two weeks of stay abroad and, being a Z-plus security protectee, he was offered due courtesies.
However, sources say that he decided to follow the drill along with other passengers and volunteered to follow all instructions.
The check-up took 20-25 minutes which caused anxiety among his personal staff and security personnel but Rahul Gandhi signalled to them that the processes must be followed, the sources said.
Rahul Gandhi was also briefed extensively about the do’s and don’ts with regard to Covid-19 by health authorities at the airport.
Since Italy has emerged as a centre from where coronavirus has spread, it has been included in the list of nations — China, South Korea, Iran and Japan — on the watchlist for containing the spread of the virus.
Indian authorities have not only suspended the visa facilities, but also visa on arrival from these nations.
Sources say after the tests, Rahul Gandhi left the airport smiling. He also thanked the health department officials who were deployed for these tests.