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Business News/ News / India/  125 flyers on Italy-Amritsar flight test Covid positive. Read here
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125 flyers on Italy-Amritsar flight test Covid positive. Read here

There were 179 passengers onboard the Italy-Amritsar flight YU-661 that landed at the Amritsar airport at around 1.30 PM on Wednesday

125 passengers of an international chartered flight from Italy to Amritsar have tested positive for Covid-19. (REUTERS)Premium
125 passengers of an international chartered flight from Italy to Amritsar have tested positive for Covid-19. (REUTERS)

As many as 125 passengers of an international chartered flight from Italy to Amritsar have tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival at the Amritsar airport, Airport Director VK Seth said on Thursday.

There were 179 passengers onboard the Italy-Amritsar flight YU-661 that landed at the Amritsar airport at around 1.30 PM on Wednesday.

Since Italy is one of the "at risk" countries according to the Union Health Ministry, all eligible passengers -- 160 in this case -- were tested for Covid-19 and 125 of them were found to be positive, they mentioned.

Out of total 179 passengers, 19 were children or infant so they were exempt from on-arrival RT-PCR testing, they said.

The charter flight between Milan in Italy and Amritsar in Punjab was operated by Portuguese company EuroAtlantic Airways, they mentioned.

The Amritsar airport authorities stated on Twitter that they have taken all necessary actions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"In today's flight all 125 pax tested positive, are being attended by state health officials. Rest 35 pax tested negative have been advised self monitoring and would be under supervision," the airport noted.

Meanwhile, the Centre has urged nine states and union territories to ramp up Covid-19 testing to ensure that infected people do not spread the virus to others.

In a letter to Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir and Bihar, Additional Secretary of Union Health Ministry Arti Ahuja pointed out a considerable decline in Covid-19 testing amid rising cases and positivity rate and said it is a "cause of concern".

In the absence of sufficient testing, it is rather impossible to determine the true level of infection spread in the community, Ahuja said in her letter dated January 5.

"With the increased detection of the Variant of Concern (VOC), Omicron, and a majority of countries seeing multiple surges in cases despite high levels of vaccination, there is a need for continued vigil and efforts to prevent any deterioration of the Covid-19 scenario.

"Keeping in mind the unpredictable and highly transmissible behaviour of Omicron and the larger preponderance of asymptomatic cases, ramping up testing in the initial days itself will help to ensure that the infected individual does not spread the virus to others," she said.

It has been observed that there has been a considerable decline in Covid-19 testing in these states and union territories amid rising cases and positivity, which is a cause of concern, Ahuja said.

She advised them to review and ensure availability of sufficient stock of testing reagents and kits etc., and regular arrangement of testing facilities, consumables, and logistics.

India on Thursday saw the biggest single-day jump of 495 Omicron cases, taking the total number of infections of the new variant of Covid-19 to 2,630, according to the data from the Union health ministry.

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Published: 06 Jan 2022, 03:08 PM IST
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