Coronavirus: Lab faces probe after 173 passengers from Rome test positive at Amritsar airport
Some of the passengers who had arrived at Shri Guru Ramdas International Airport had subsequently tested negative in a re-test later, officials said
A probe has been ordered against a private laboratory after a number of flyers who reached Amritsar in Punjab from Italy recently tested positive for COVID-19 amid allegations by several of them that their test reports were incorrect, health officials said today.
The Airports Authority of India has also replaced the services of the Delhi-based laboratory with a local lab, officials said.
The probe had been ordered after several of the passengers who returned from Italy had alleged that their Covid positive report was not correct as they had tested negative hours before boarding the flight. They had raised questions on the testing practice adopted by the lab. Many among them had even created ruckus at the international airport in Amritsar.
Some of the passengers who had arrived at Shri Guru Ramdas International Airport had subsequently tested negative in a re-test later, officials said.
Assistant Civil Surgeon Dr. Amarjit Singh said, "A probe has been initiated by the Airports Authority of India against the alleged errant working of the lab. The services of the existing Delhi-based lab has been suspended and new local lab has resumed its working at the airport."
He said the services of the Delhi-based lab were started on 15 December 2021 by the Airports Authority of India.
At least 173 passengers on a Rome-Amritsar chartered flight were found to be Covid-positive after being tested on arrival on Friday, officials said.
This was the second consecutive incident where a large number of passengers coming from Italy to Amritsar airport have tested positive for the coronavirus on arrival. On Thursday, 125 passengers who were travelling from Milan in Italy on another charter flight were found positive after being tested on arrival at the Amritsar airport.
According to the rules of the Union Health Ministry, passengers coming from "at risk" countries to India have to compulsorily get tested for COVID-19 on arrival at the airport.
COVID-19 daily positivity rate in India has increased to 0.61 per cent, up from 0.47 per cent reported on Tuesday. The weekly positivity rate now stands at 0.74 per cent
The data released at 8 am also showed that 22 fatalities — 20 of them from Kerala alone — were reported in a 24-hour period, taking the cumulative death toll to 5,24,024
According to the health ministry, the daily positivity rate is 0.61 per cent and the weekly positivity rate is 0.71 per cent