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Passenger on IndiGo's Chennai-Coimbatore flight tests COVID positive; airline 'grounds' crew


Coimbatore/Mumbai, May 26: A passenger onboard an IndiGo flight that operated on Monday from Chennai to Coimbatore has tested positive for coronavirus and the airline has grounded the flight's crew for 14 days.

The 24-year-old man, whose swab test results came on Tuesday, is now at the ESI hospital in Coimbatore for further treatment, officials said.

Representational Image

This is possibly the first case of an air passenger testing positive for coronavirus after domestic flight services resumed operations on Monday.

In a statement on Tuesday, IndiGo said that a passenger who travelled on 6E 381 from Chennai to Coimbatore on May 25 evening has tested positive for COVID-19.

"All our aircraft are regularly sanitised as a standard operating procedure, and the aircraft operating this flight was also immediately disinfected as per protocol. "The operating crew has been grounded for 14 days and we are in the process of notifying other passengers as per the government guidelines, to ensure safety of our passengers and staff," the statement said.

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    The airline said it has received confirmation from the Coimbatore airport doctor that the passenger tested positive for coronavirus and is currently quarantined at the ESI state medical facility in Coimbatore.

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    "He was seated on-board the aircraft with all precautionary measures including face mask, face shield and gloves, as were the other passengers," it said, adding that no one else was seated in his vicinity, significantly reducing the possibility of transmission.

    The person was working in the room service wing of a star hotel in Chennai, the officials said. This is also the first coronavirus positive case to be reported in Coimbatore after a gap of 21 days.

    However, officials said the case would be included in the official count of Chennai as per protocol.

    On Monday, over 130 passengers arrived in Coimbatore from Chennai and Delhi after the Centre allowed resumption of domestic flight services and all of them underwent the necessary test for coronavirus in line with the health protocol guidelines of the Tamil Nadu government.

    Domestic flights recommenced operations on Monday after a gap of two months. The services were suspended on March 25 in the wake of the nationwide lockdown to curb spreading of coronavirus infections.

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