A ‘live ghost’ in an empty airport: Corona Chronicle #031

He was looking around the empty airport.

He started walking up and down the transit area with no one around him.

He is a German stranded in Delhi Airport due to the coronavirus lockdown.

He is a German national and was was on his way from Hanoi to Istanbul on 18th March.

When he got off the plane in Delhi, he got to know that all flights to Turkey were cancelled since that day.

On 22nd March, all  international flights were stopped from and to India.

There were 4 more people stranded with him in the beginning.

They arrived on different dates but their flights were cancelled too.

Two of them were from Sri Lanka, one from Maldives and another one from Philippines.

The respective embassies were contacted and told about the situation.

The others were taken care of and facilitated by their embassies but it was a tough situation for the German.

The German had criminal record back in his country.

He is a wanted criminal with a number of cases of assault and other crimes back home. 

He mostly spent his day reading magazines and newspapers.

He also talks to his friends and family over the phone sometimes and he seems to be happy.

He eats at some fast food joints that are still working in the terminal.

He keeps on interacting with the housekeeping and security staff.

He loves to take walks within the transit area.

The authorities have provided with a recliner, mosquito net, toothpaste, food and other basic essential.

He tells the officers that he can afford his expenses.

The officials have been keeping an eye on him with the help of CCTV cameras and have not found anything suspicious.

They go and visit him sometimes to check on his well being and to interact with him.

He can afford his own ticket and he is desperate to go back home but his travel is not possible until flights are resumed.

India made an attempt to accomodate him on a relief flight to Ankara but the Turkish Authorities did not accept the offer.

They said that the flight was for their permanent residents and nationals only.

His name is Edgard Ziebat and is 40 years old.

German embassy refused to take his custody.

Even India did not give him a Visa due to his criminal background, however, he did not even apply formally for a visa.

He has been staying at the airport for almost 50 days now.

He seems to be a ‘live ghost’ in an empty airport.

Disclaimer: Based on true events.

– Tanisha Agrawal

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