On Day 1 Of Air Travel, Tamil Nadu Passenger Tests Positive For COVID-19

On Day 1 Of Air Travel, Tamil Nadu Passenger Tests Positive For COVID-19

IndiGo said it has "grounded" the flight's crew for 14 days and the aircraft will be disinfected (File)Chennai: A 23-year-old man who took a flight to Chennai from Coimbatore on Monday, has tested positive for coronavirus.  He has been admitted at the ESI Hospital in the Textiles City. The IndiGo flight from Chennai was among the first to land in Coimbatore on the very day air travel started across the country following a two-month lockdown.District Collector K Rajamani told NDTV that all the other passengers have tested negative for the virus. "We tested all the 90 passengers. All others except this man have tested negative.  All have been put under home quarantine," he said.In a statement, IndiGo said it has "grounded" the flight's crew for 14 days and the aircraft will be disinfected.Referring to the ailing passenger, the airline said: "He was with all precautionary measures including face mask, face shield and gloves. Additionally no one else was seated in his vicinity, significantly reducing the possibility of transmission".That the passenger was infected came to be known after all passengers were tested for coronavirus on landing in Coimbatore. They were also put on institutional quarantine till the results came.According to the protocol released by the Tamil Nadu Government only those symptomatic were to be tested."We would continue to test all passengers on landing in Coimbatore," the collector added.The official denied reports that the man had already given samples for testing before his flight and was awaiting results. "We don't have his history," he said. Senior Health Department officials in Chennai did not comment on the matter.Under the Union health ministry rules, passengers need to undergo thermal screening and have a clearance from the Aarogya Setu app. On flight safety measures include protective gear.While states were allowed to have their own quarantine rules, aviation minister Hardeep Puri had said it was not required on short-haul flights, since infected passengers will not be allowed anyway.The number of coronavirus patients in the state today touched 17,728 with 646 new cases. State capital Chennai alone accounts for 11,640 cases.Over the last one week the death count has been steadily rising in the state. It touched 127 with nine casualties today. Health Minister Dr Vijayabaskar, however, said, "The mortality rate is the lowest at 0.69 per cent".Initially, the state government had asked the Centre to defer resumption of flights till May 31, citing the increasing trend in Chennai. However, with the Centre sticking to its stand, the state managed to put a cap on the arriving flights at 25.The state has also demanded that barest minimum flights be allowed to come from Maharashtra and Gujarat – the coronavirus hotspots in the country. Comments