Monday, May 03, 2021

All 242 on board Air India Amritsar-Rome flight quarantined on arrival after many tested positive

New Delhi: All the 242 people onboard Air India’s Delhi-Amritsar-Rome flight (AI 1123) last Wednesday were quarantined after about 30 passengers and two crew members — the captain who operated the aircraft and the lead cabin crew member — tested Covid positive on arrival. Italian authorities sent the 232 passengers, eight cabin crew members and two pilots for paid quarantine in a hotel.

The crew is having a tough time as they have reportedly been sent to a Covid centre hospital for quarantine. One of the crew members has written to the airline management, saying: “After landing in Rome (on April 28) we were informed about Italy’s new Covid protocol … that all passengers will be quarantined for 10 days. After following all rules, it took us almost nine hours to reach the hotel after landing (where Covid tests were done). The hotel we have been provided is a Covid centre hospital.” The harried crew member adds that the “room is dirty; no soap or towel provided; AC does not work.”

“It has been two days since I asked them to open my room window (but) no one has come until now,” the crew member says in her email. She complains about quality of “uncooked” food being served to them. “A lot of our crew is vegetarian (who were told when they asked for the same) this is hospital, not a hotel. ‘So cooperate with whatever is provided to you’… If nothing (happens), we will definitely fall sick either by eating uncooked food or by hunger,” she says.

The second RT-PCR test conduced after some days of quarantine has come negative for the seven crew and a pilot. AI is now making arrangements to fly them back home either on their own or other available commercial flights. The captian and senior most crew member of that flight will remain quarantined in Italy till they test negative.

03/05/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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