NEW DELHI, May 27
IndiGo on Tuesday said its crew has been grounded for 14 days after a passenger on Chennai-Coimbatore flight tested positive for coronavirus. The airline said passengers on the flight, which operated on Monday, have been notified.
"We received confirmation from the Coimbatore airport doctor that a passenger who travelled on 6E 381 from Chennai to Coimbatore on 25th May evening, has tested positive for Covid-19," said the airline in a statement. He is currently quarantined at an ESI State medical facility in Coimbatore.
"All our aircrafts 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 airline said in a statement.
The development assumes significance as an infection was found the very day domestic flight operations have resumed after they got suspended for two months owing to Nationwide lockdown.
"He was seated on-board the aircraft with all precautionary measures including face mask, face shield and gloves, as were the other passengers," the airline said, adding that no one else was seated in his vicinity, significantly reducing the possibility of transmission.
"For Tamil Nadu, there will be maximum 25 arrivals in Chennai but there's no limit on number of departures. For other airports in Tamil Nadu, flights will operate as in other parts of country," said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday. Livemint
Centre reduces instl quarantine to 7 days : The Centre on Tuesday reduced the institutional quarantine period of Indians arriving from abroad under the Vande Bharat Mission to seven days, from the earlier mandatory quarantine of 14 days.
In an order on Tuesday, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, "Protocol for Institutional quarantine has been revised to 7 days followed by 7 days home quarantine after medical assessment."
Bhalla has also directed State Governments to ensure that passengers are refunded seven days of advance by hotels where they were staying and were asked to pay 14-day advance.
"It has been brought to the notice of this Ministry that Indian Nationals who were quarantined in hotels after their return from abroad were made to pay advance for 14 days. Since they can now leave for home quarantine after 7 days, the amount paid by them for the remaining 7 days needs to be refunded to them, which some hotels are refusing to refund," Bhalla said in his letter to Chief Secretaries of all States and UTs.
All international passenger flights have been cancelled due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown in India and only international arrivals are Indians arriving from flights under the Vande Bharat Mission launched to repatriated stranded Indians abroad.
Under the SOP for Vande Bharat Mission, the Ministry of Home Affairs had made 14-day quarantine of returnees mandatory.
Medical screening of passengers would be done before taking the flight and only asymptomatic passengers would be allowed to travel, the MHA had said in its a standard operating protocol (SOP).
On reaching the destination, everyone would have to register on the Aarogya Setu app, and they would be medically screened.
After scrutiny, they would be quarantined for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on payment-basis, by the concerned State Government, the SOP said.
COVID-19 test would be done after 14 days and further action would be taken according to health protocols, the Home Ministry had said.