Air passenger with COVID-19 positive certificate causes anxious moments

A woman passenger who landed in Tiruchi from Singapore by an Air India Express flight was found to be carrying a COVID-19 positive certificate prompting the airport authorities to immediately alert the State health department officials and other stakeholders.

Th passenger hailing from Pudukottai district was taken to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital for observation and treatment. The flight with 169 passengers onboard arrived in the morning. As per protocol, the woman passenger too was checked by the airport health officer at the aero bridge corridor when they found her carrying a COVID-19 positive certificate.

Airport authorities said an alert was immediately sounded to all stakeholders including state health department officials. The formalities were done swiftly including immigration clearance and she was taken to the government hospital. As per the standard operating protocol and stipulated guidelines, disinfectants were sprayed at the aerobridge corridor, immigration area, arrival hall, arrival belt area and at the gate, Airport Director, Tiruchi, S. Dharmaraj said.

The authorities felt that proper verification should have been done at the boarding point in Singapore by the airline. This is the second such incident at Tiruchi international airport within a week. On the previous occasion, too, the passenger had come from Singapore by Air India Express.

Mr. Dharmaraj said a letter was sent to the Air India Express authorities asking the airline to verify the documents strictly and follow the guidelines stipulated by the Central government.

The Tiruchi airport authorities would convene a meeting with the Air India Express officials on Monday following the two incidents. District administration authorities said information regarding six passengers from other districts, who were travelling in close proximity with the infected passenger, have been conveyed to the respective district administration to isolate them and subject them to tests.

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