Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Since resumption of domestic flights in May, around 1,500 test positive

New Delhi: Of the total number of passengers that have flown on domestic flights since resumption of services on May 25, around 1,500 have tested positive for coronavirus at their destinations, according to official data. However, data pertaining to how many air passengers were actually tested was not centrally available.

According to the Airports Authority of India data, around 45 lakh domestic passengers were recorded at Indian airports between May 25 and June 30.

The numbers, however, may not tell the full story, given that many of the jurisdictions like Punjab, Uttarakhand, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh are only testing passengers at airports on a random basis, while several others like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, West Bengal are testing only symptomatic passengers.
It is noteworthy that the initial few cases, where flying passengers were found positive for the coronavirus upon reaching their destinations, were in fact asymptomatic.

“It is difficult to maintain a central database of how many people have been tested so far at airports because the rules for testing are not the same in every state. Some states are testing at random, while some are testing compulsorily for passengers arriving from some other states,” a senior government official told The Indian Express.

Only a few jurisdictions such as Jammu & Kashmir are currently mandatorily testing all passengers upon arrival, with the exception of defence personnel. At certain places like Coimbatore, which was earlier testing all passengers arriving by domestic flights, officials stopped compulsory testing, given the backlog test samples sent by the airport to the laboratories. Instead, the administration advised passengers to quarantine themselves.
04/08/20 Pranav Mukul/Indian Express
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