Coronavirus Patient Boards Kochi-Dubai Flight, 20 Passengers Offloaded
- The British national boarded the flight at Kochi airport
- The man had boarded the flight along with his group of 18 others
- He was holidaying at Munnar in Kerala and was under surveillance
20 passengers of a Dubai-bound Emirates flight were offloaded at the Kochi airport in Kerala today shortly before takeoff after a British national among them tested positive for novel coronavirus that has killed over 5,000 people worldwide and infected over 1.3 lakh, Kochi airport officials said.
All the passengers of the Emirates flight are being taken to hospital for screenings and medical check-ups.
The man had boarded the flight along with his group of 18 others who were holidaying in the hill station of Munnar in Kerala and was under surveillance, a Cochin International Airport Limited spokesman said.
He allegedly did not inform informing authorities in Munnar while leaving the hotel where he was under quarantine and reached Kochi airport. The 18 others too are foreign nationals, according to airport officials.
He was tracked down to the airport by health officials after his test results showed that he was coronavirus-positive, Kochi airport authorities said.
Firstly, it was decided to offload all 19 passengers of his group, an officer said.
"Now, it is decided to offload the remaining 270 pax (passengers) also and send them to hospital for further investigation", the spokesperson said.
Sources have said that while he was under isolation, the results came today, testing him positive for coronavirus.
Kerala has reported 22 coronavirus cases so far. The first three positive cases in the state were cured and discharged from hospitals last month. At least 270 people are in isolation wards at various hospitals in the state and over 4,000 people under observation, of which 3,910 are under home quarantine.The state has set up three testing facilities to tackle the viral infection.
The coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday.
India has suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus as cases across India rose to over 100.