After 19 Indian passengers, on a flight from New Delhi to China’s Wuhan under the Vande Bharat Mission, tested positive for Covid-19, an Air India official said that all passengers had a negative report before boarding.
The 30 October Air India flight, the sixth operated by India to China in recent months and the first to Wuhan, brought 277 Indians from New Delhi and evacuated 157 on its return.
Besides the 19 Indians who tested positive, officials told PTI that antibodies were found in the tests of 39 others.
Air India said in a statement that all its passengers to Wuhan had boarded the flight from Delhi with Covid negative reports from certified labs. “Air India strictly adheres to all the safety protocol laid down by the regulatory bodies and conforms to requirements at destination airports.”
There is no question of passengers boarding any of our flight without valid Covid negative reports, it added.
All the Indian passengers needed to undergo two coronavirus tests before being permitted to board the flights, according to PTI.
China on Monday changed the boarding requirements for passengers coming from India to China. The Chinese embassy in India said that from 7 November, passengers are required to take double nucleic acid tests and one IgM anti-body test of Covid-19 in the labs authorised by the ICMR, with samples of the first nucleic acid test collected within 72 hours before boarding, and the samples of the second nucleic acid test and the IgM anti-body test collected within 36 hours before boarding.
Hong Kong last week banned Air India flights from Mumbai till 10 November after a few passengers tested positive for Covid post arrival. This was the fourth time Hong Kong banned Air India flights over passengers testing positive.
Passengers from India can arrive in Hong Kong only if they have a Covid negative certificate from a test done within 72 hours prior to the journey, according to rules issued by the Hong Kong government, PTI reported.
All international passengers are also required to undergo a post-flight coronavirus test at the Hong Kong airport.
(With PTI inputs)