Three passengers, including a British national of Goan-origin, who arrived at the international airport near here on a flight from the United Kingdom on early Friday, tested positive for Covid-19, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said.
Rane said the three passengers have been shifted to an isolation facility in South Goa, while all other travellers on the flight who tested negative will be kept in strict home quarantine for eight days before undergoing another test at the end of it. The health minister tweeted, “This is with reference to flight AI 146 that arrived from the UK today morning. 237 travellers tested on arrival. 3 patients (passengers) have been tested positive.”
The UK is among a group of countries placed in the ‘at-risk’ category by the central government in view of the recent detection of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. Passengers from these countries have to follow additional Covid-19 testing and quarantine measures.
“All other negative travellers will be kept in strict home quarantine and will be retested on day 8 or earlier if symptomatic. According to the Government of India Guidelines/Protocols, necessary directions have been issued to DHS (Directorate of Health Services) in this regard,” Rane said in another tweet.
Earlier in the day, the minister said a 41-year-old British national of Goan origin tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival from the UK.
Rane tweeted, “A 41-year-old British national of Goan origin tested positive today morning at the airport. The patient has been isolated at PHC-Cansaulim.”
Health authorities have isolated the man, whose test at the airport in Dabolim returned positive for Covid-19, at a government-run healthcare facility in Cansaulim. Airport officials said the passenger was on board the 98th Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flight that arrived at the Goa airport during the wee hours.
Details about the other two passengers who have tested positive for coronavirus were not available.
The Goa airport tweeted, “Goa Airport has ramped up the infrastructure reqd for post-arrival testing of Int’l arriving passengers. Sufficient Registration counters, swab collection centres, waiting areas are provided for smooth management, safety, and convenience of pax.”
In another tweet, it said, “98th in the series of VBM flight arrived from London-Heathrow today early morning at Goa International Airport. Arriving passengers undergoing thermal screening and completing mandatory formalities upon arrival.”
The VBM is a central government initiative to bring back Indians stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant travel curbs. Authorities in Goa have already isolated five crew members of a merchant navy ship who had tested positive for Covid-19.
Their swab samples have been sent to the Pune-based National Institute of Virology for genome sequencing and reports are awaited.