Six more travellers from “at-risk” countries, including one with travel history to South Africa, tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here on Thursday, officials said. Three out of 243 people on an Air France flight that landed at the airport around 12 midnight tested positive for Covid. Two persons from London were also found to have contracted the coronavirus, an official said.
Another passenger had stayed in Johannesburg, South Africa, for a week and travelled from Tanzania to Doha and from there to Delhi. He has also tested positive, the official said. The new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, was first detected in South Africa.
Samples of all the six passengers have been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control for genome sequencing to ascertain if they have the new Omicron strain, which has been classified as a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization.
A total of 10 people from ‘at-risk’ countries have tested positive for COVID-19 since stricter norms for international passengers came into effect from Tuesday midnight. All such Covid-positive international travellers are being been admitted to the Lok Nayak Hospital, where a dedicated ward has been set up for isolating and treating such patients.
According to the Centre, the countries designated as “at-risk” are European countries, including the UK, and South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.
Under the new norms, RT-PCR tests are mandatory for passengers arriving from the “at-risk” countries and they will be allowed to leave the airport only after the results come. Also, two per cent of the passengers arriving in flights from other countries will be subjected to the test randomly.