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Amid Omicron Scare, Authorities in India Worry for 'Missing' Passengers from High-risk Countries

Amid the Omicron scare, passengers leave the arrivals section at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai.
(Image: Punit PARANJPE/AFP)

Amid the Omicron scare, passengers leave the arrivals section at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai. (Image: Punit PARANJPE/AFP)

A Chandigarh woman who returned from South Africa broke home quarantine and went to a five-star hotel, prompting authorities to order strict action.

As India detects three cases of Omicron variant, concerns have been raised over international travellers from ‘high-risk’ countries who have evaded mandatory Covid tests and quarantine guidelines and potentially spreading the virus further.

Here are top updates on passengers who have gone missing, or fled from airport violating Covid guidelines:

- In UP’s Meerut, 13 out of 297 foreign returnees were ‘missing’ after giving incorrect phone numbers and addresses to the administration. Seven flew in from South Africa, where the Omicron variant was first reported, ANI reported.

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- The Karnataka government has directed civic officials in Bengaluru to file a police complaint and investigate the validity of a negative Covid test report provided to a South African traveller who is one of the first two people in India whose Covid samples showed the presence of the virus’s Omicron variant. The 66-year-old traveller from South Africa left India seven days after testing positive by obtaining a negative Covid test report from a private lab.

-The traveller, who arrived in Bengaluru on November 20, tested positive at the airport and stayed at a five-star hotel in the city’s central business district. He allegedly obtained a negative Covid test report from a private lab on November 23, allowing him to return to South Africa via Dubai on November 27.

- In Chandigarh, a woman who returned from South Africa two days ago allegedly broke home quarantine and went to a five-star hotel, prompting authorities on Friday to order strict action against her for violating protocols for travellers, especially those arriving from “at-risk" countries where Omicron variant has been detected.

- Twelve suspected patients of Omicron, who flew in the national capital from “at risk" countries", are admitted to the Delhi government’s LNJP hospital, according to a senior hospital official. Of these, eight are confirmed coronavirus patients while four have symptoms like sore throat, fever and history of contact with patients. Their samples have been sent for genome sequencing and the results will take four or five days, the official said.

Over 10 passengers from South Africans have gone missing from Bengaluru airport, a report in NDTV said. Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashok said airport security, police and the health department are working to track them down and carry out Covid tests.

-Station Managers of Air India Airlines and Mahan Airlines of Delhi International Airport issued a show-cause notice for not following Covid guidelines. Three passengers were allowed to board flights without filling Self Declaration form on Air Suvidha Portal and uploading negative RT-PCR test report, a report in ANI said.

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first published:December 04, 2021, 16:15 IST