Coronavirus has left one of India’s busiest airports eerily deserted

Image: AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool
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One of the world’s busiest airports now looks like it belongs to the next dystopian bestseller.

Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, which connects India’s financial centre to the world, is seeing the distinct impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with empty lounge areas and silently whizzing travelators. Covid-19 has already infected 125,288 people and killed over 4,600 across the world.

Bengaluru airport in India’s Silicon Valley has also reported a 50% drop in international travellers, according to News18.

It was only a matter of time before such scenes emerged, given that travel advisories have brought inbound and outbound international travel down by 30%, Business Standard newspaper reported yesterday (March 12). India, too, has suspended all tourist visas in these conditions.

There are nearly 80 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, two of which are in Mumbai.

Mumbai’s single-runway airport, with its 46.8 million passengers in 2019, comes second only to the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi in terms of passenger traffic. Such desertion adds to the gravity of the pandemic, especially since the city is also one of the world’s most densely populated.

Earlier, though, passengers complained about long queues and insufficient counters for coronavirus screening. As of March 3, the airport had screened 64,621 passengers across 529 flights, according to the GVK Mumbai International Airport Limited spokesperson.