Passengers with Omicron from low-risk countries, domestic flights slip away from Bengaluru airport
On Wednesday, the state health department reported two patients with Omicron who either left the Bengaluru airport before their sample returned COVID-19 positive or exited even after testing positive
BENGALURU: Passsengers arriving from low-risk countries or from other domestic destinations to Bengaluru airport are exiting the airport and later turning out to be positive with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is proving to be a cause of concern.
On Wednesday, the state health department reported two patients with Omicron who either left the Bengaluru airport before their sample returned COVID-19 positive or exited even after testing positive.
A 53-year-old man who travelled from Dubai to Bengaluru on December 23 got himself tested at Kempegowda International Airport but left the airport prior to the arrival of his results. His son picked him up in the car and they received the positive result prior to reaching Trichy, Tamil Nadu. Now, he is isolated at Trichy General Hospital and the case has been referred to Tamil Nadu. His genomic sequencing results detected Omicron.
In the second case, a 41-year-old man travelled from Mumbai to Bengaluru by flight on December 23, tested positive at the airport but took a bus from the airport back to Mumbai on the same evening. He is isolating at Mumbai and his genomic sequencing results have detected Omicron as well.
When asked about it, Randeep D, state health commissioner, said that only international passengers from high-risk countries are expected to wait until their RT-PCR results come in at the airport. The remaining can give their sample and leave. If they test positive, they are later traced and put in institutional quarantine.
"However, we have now asked the Bengaluru Rural District Health Officer to keep an extra check on international passengers exiting the airport. They must have an RT-PCR negative report," Randeep explained.
As per the guidelines, Dubai does not feature on the list of high-risk countries. From low-risk countries, 2 percent of people may be randomly tested at the airport. There are no guidelines mandating domestic travellers to wait at the airport for their RT-PCR test results.