Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Flight chaos from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to Bahrain

Manama: Confused passengers have called for clarification on contradicting travel protocols after distraught families were banned from boarding a flight from India to Bahrain because their infants could not produce negative Covid-19 test evidence.

At least seven expatriates were left stranded back in Kerala, including four children, the GDN has learned.

They were not allowed to board a Gulf Air flight on Monday from Calicut’s Karipoor airport based on Bahrain’s updated travel protocols for passengers arriving from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

According to the rule, effective from yesterday, all incoming passengers above the age of six must provide proof of negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for Covid-19 – with a QR code – conducted not more than 48 hours before departure.

This follows an alarming surge of cases in these countries, which has been linked to a ‘double mutant’ strain of Covid-19 that is believed to be highly infectious.

While the official announcement exempts children aged below six from taking the test, however, some airlines now insist on a test report for all those stepping or being carried on board their flights, including infants.

“The Health Ministry’s official notice says tests are required for only those aged above six years, but some airlines are insisting on tests even for newborns,” Dr Karthika B, a passenger from Cochin, Kerala told the GDN, who was not prepared to risk being turned away.

“We tried to get clarification on this but had no luck so I had tests carried out on my one-year-old daughter and five-year-old son – I didn’t want to take the risk of a flight refusal.

28/04/21 Zawya

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