125 passengers found Covid positive on a flight from Italy to Amritsar
It was a rude shock for the health authorities in Amritsar when 125 out of the 201 passengers on a particular Vande Bharat Mission flight from Rome, Italy, tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival at Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport on Sunday.
The passengers had undergone RT-PCR tests at the airport in Rome before boarding the flight, and all were found to be negative. However, their samples were again collected and sent for testing on arrival in Amritsar.
The results were shocking, as 125 of the 201 passengers were Covid-19 positive. All the passengers have been shifted to a quarantine facility at a government school in the city, and their contacts are being traced.
This is the second instance of many Covid-19 cases being detected on a flight from Italy to India. Last month, around 150 passengers on a particular Air India flight from Milan to Delhi tested positive for the virus on arrival.
The health authorities are investigating how the passengers on the Amritsar-bound flight from Rome contracted the virus. They may have been infected during their stay in Italy or on the flight.
The Amritsar district administration has imposed an Rs. 1 lakh fine on the airline for flouting norms. A case has also been register against the airline and the passengers who ignored the rules.
This is serious matter, and the health authorities are taking all necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus. It is essential for all passengers traveling from Covid-19 affected countries to follow the rules and get themselves tested before boarding their flights.
The First Incident
The first incident of the Covid-19 virus being brought into India occurred on February 21, 2020, when a student who had recently returned from Italy tested positive. This was first confirmed case of the virus in India. The student had traveled from Italy to India on February 7, 2020, and had been staying at a hostel in Kerala. On February 21, 2020, the student developed a fever and was taken to a hospital, where he tested positive for the virus. The student is currently being treated at a hospital in Kerala and is in stable condition.
The Second Incident
The second incident related to the outbreak of Covid-19 on a flight from Italy happened on the same day as the first. This time, it was a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Rome. The flight was carrying around 200 passengers, and 20 of them were found to be infected with the virus.
Again, the passengers were quarantined, and the flight returned to Mumbai. The authorities are investigating how the virus could have spread quickly on the flight.
The actions that the Union Health Ministry undertook
The Union Health Ministry has taken many steps after the Covid explosion on a flight from Italy.
Firstly, it has advised all passengers on the flight to self-quarantine for 14 days. It has also asked them to monitor their health and seek medical help if they develop any symptoms.
Secondly, the ministry has advised all states to ramp up their surveillance and testing efforts. It has also asked states to identify and isolate all close contacts of the infected passengers.
Thirdly, the ministry has issued a travel advisory asking people to avoid non-essential travel to Italy. It has also advised people to take precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining hand hygiene when traveling.
Fourthly, the ministry has advised people to avoid crowded places and to maintain social distancing. It has also urged people to avoid sharing food and utensils with others.
The ministry has also urged people to follow all these measures to protect themselves from the virus.
It’s now abundantly clear that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over. It is accelerating. The World Healths Organization has declared a global health emergency. More than 100 countries have now reported cases of the virus. The international death toll has topped 3,000.
And yet, some still refuse to believe the severity of the situation. They continue to travel, congregate in large groups, and ignore health experts’ advice.
One such example is the recent outbreak of Covid-19 on a flight from Italy to Rajkot, India. The flight carried more than 200 passengers, many infected with the virus.
Now, Rajkot is a city of nearly 1.5 million people. And it’s now in the throes of a significant outbreak. Over 100 people have been infected, and at least four have died.
This is a tragic and preventable situation. The people of Rajkot did not deserve this. But it results from the negligence and arrogance of those who refuse to believe this pandemic is real.
It’s times for everyone to wake up and take this seriously. The time for complacency is over. We all do our part to halt spread of this virus.
Thank you for reading.