Friday, March 20, 2020

How authorities missed Delhi's first COVID-19 case at the airport

New Delhi: Now that Delhi's first COVID-19 positive patient is in recovery and has been restricted to home-quarantine, the 45-year-old businessman from Mayur Vihar has revealed that he was not screened at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on February 25, when he arrived from Europe. This information comes amid official government data that showed India is not conducting as many tests for the novel Coronavirus as many other affected countries.

However, what is alarming about Rohit Dutta's case is that by the time he had landed in India, he had spent four days in Italy, specifically in Milan and adjoining areas of Venice for business and yet airport authorities had failed to test him or screen him at the airport. In fact, Dutta said that at the time the virus had not spread to

Austria, from where he had flown in, and hence authorities did not feel the need to test. But days prior to his departure from Vienna, he had spent four days in Italy.

Curiously, officials in India have maintained that they started screening international passengers arriving from sensitive countries from January 17. Interestingly, by February 25, Europe had already reported its first COVID-19 death in France and on February 23, Italy had already seen a massive spike in COVID-19 cases — from less than five to more than 150 in less than 24 hours.
20/03/20 Abhinay Lakshman/millenniumpost
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