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Over 12% of Passengers on an Air India Flight to Italy Tested Positive for COVID-19 on Arrival Despite Pre-Departure Tests

Over 12% of Passengers on an Air India Flight to Italy Tested Positive for COVID-19 on Arrival Despite Pre-Departure Tests

Thirty passengers and two crew members, including the Captain and most senior cabin crew member, of a recent Air India flight from Amritsar to Rome, tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after arriving in Italy despite all of those onboard being required to test negative for the novel Coronavirus before being allowed to step foot on the plane.

The unusually high number of positive cases on just one flight raises further questions about the quality and accuracy of pre-departure tests carried out in India. All 242 passengers onboard the flight have been placed into mandatory hotel quarantine and will now have to take more tests before being released.

The test positivity rate is still well below the record-breaking 52 cases detected on a Vistara flight from Dehli to Hong Kong. Well over a third of passengers on the flight have tested positive for COVID-19, although some of those infections were only detected after more than two weeks in quarantine.

Due to India’s explosive surge in COVID-19 cases, Italy requires all passengers from the country to provide proof of a negative test within 72 hours of departure. Passengers are also subjected to testing immediately on arrival and must quarantine in a designated hotel for 10-days.

Similar rules have been introduced by a slew of countries with flights either banned altogether or entry limited. Australia has faced criticism over its decision to even ban its own citizens from returning home from India.

Seven cabin crew members and the First Officer onboard the Air India flight from Amritsar have since tested negative for a second time and will soon be allowed to leave Italy once arrangements have been made for them to board a flight.

The Captain and purser remains in hotel quarantine.

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