A total of 125 passengers on a chartered Milan-Amritsar flight tested positive for COVID-19. According to health officials, they will be held in isolation.
According to Airport Director V K Seth, the charter flight, which landed at the Amritsar airport at 11.30 am on Thursday, had a total of 179 passengers.
Italy is one of the ’at at risk’ countries, as per the Ministry of Civil Aviation list. Hence, according to the Union Health Ministry, all eligible passengers — 160 in this case — were tested for COVID-19, among which 125 of them tested positive.
The remaining 35 passengers who tested negative have been advised to self-monitor and would be under observation. The children and infants travelling on the Milan-Amritsar flight were excused from COVID-19 testing.
The live television footages show ambulances lined up outside Amritsar airport to transport afflicted travellers while masses gathered outside the entrance gates.
Passengers of Italy-India flight refused admission to the isolation ward
After receiving the test results, several passengers who arrived on the Milan-Amritsar flight were dissatisfied with the results and raised a ruckus in the terminal building. According to video clips circulating on social media, some passengers were seen arguing with the police.
The passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 were adamant about not being admitted to any of the city hospitals’ isolation wards, and they pleaded with the authorities to let them depart. Officials from the health department attempted to persuade them to seek treatment in the isolation ward of any of Amritsar’s hospitals.
On Twitter, the Amritsar airport officials announced that they had taken all necessary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The officials also stated that the charter Italy-India flight YU-661 between Milan, Italy, and Amritsar, Punjab, was operated by the Portuguese business Euro Atlantic Airways.
COVID-19 cases in India are rising
India recorded almost 90,000 cases on Thursday, six times increase over the previous week, which specialists attribute to the Omicron strain. According to officials, the country has recorded 325 deaths in the last 24 hours, but only one death has been linked to Omicron. The Omicron variant is the most widespread in Indian cities, and the officials request to avoid closed and huge gatherings.
In India, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Jharkhand are considered the growing states of concern as the positive states are rising in these states. The increasing cases are likely to slow down the Indian aviation industry again.