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Days after several passengers from Italy tested positive for Covid at the Amritsar international airport, the health officials ordered probe against a private laboratory that conducted the test, according to PTI. 

The probe had been ordered after some of the passengers who returned from Italy alleged that their report was not correct as they had tested negative hours before boarding the flight. They had raised questions on the testing practice adopted by the lab, the report said.

Health officials told the news agency that the Airports Authority of India has also replaced the services of the Delhi-based laboratory with a local lab.

The official said that some of the passengers who had arrived at Shri Guru Ramdas International Airport had subsequently tested negative in a re-test later.

“A probe has been initiated by the Airports Authority of India against the alleged errant working of the lab. The services of the existing Delhi-based lab has been suspended and new local lab has resumed its working at the airport," Assistant Civil Surgeon Dr. Amarjit Singh was quoted as saying by PTI. The services of this Delhi-based lab were engaged on December 15, 2021 by the Airports Authority of India.

On Friday, at least 173 passengers on a Rome-Amritsar chartered flight were found to be Covid-positive after being tested on arrival. Just a day before, 125 passengers who were travelling from Milan in Italy on another charter flight were found positive after being tested on arrival at the Amritsar airport.

Recently, India made it mandatory for passengers coming from "at risk" countries to compulsorily get tested for Covid on arrival at the airport.

All European countries, including Italy, have been deemed as "at risk" countries by the Union Health Ministry. 

With inputs from PTI

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