More than 100 people on a chartered flight arriving in India from Italy tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, health officials said.
According to The Times of India, 125 of the 179 people flying from Milan to Amritsar International Airport have tested positive for the deadly virus.
The flight, operated by Portuguese company EuroAtlantic Airways, landed in the northern Indian city around 1:30 p.m.
Italy being considered as a country “at risk” by the Indian health authorities, a test was carried out for 160 passengers. The remaining 19 passengers were children and therefore exempt from testing.
The situation outside the airport grew tense, with relatives of some passengers accusing the Punjab state government of possibly fabricating the high number of positive cases.
“We were negative for COVID when we boarded the flight. How did we get to be positive during the eight hour flight? It was mandatory to obtain negative COVID reports no more than 72 hours before boarding the flight to Italy, ”a woman named Gurinder Kaur told The Indian Express. “It’s impossible.”
Amritsar’s chief medical officer, Charanjit Singh, responded to the allegations, saying that “we have tested all the passengers and many have tested negative. There is no conspiracy. “
India reported more than 90,000 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, nearly six times more than in the past week.
Experts believe the rise was fueled by the highly transmissible variant of omicron.
More than 35 million confirmed infections have been reported in the country since the start of the pandemic, including more than 480,000 deaths.
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