Indian airline Vistara set a new record over the weekend, as 47 passengers onboard one of its flights to Hong Kong tested positive for COVID.
Vistara’s record-breaking journey
Over the weekend, Indian airline Vistara transported passengers from Delhi to Hong Kong. The flight, which can seat 188, flew relatively light in terms of passengers given the current circumstances. Before boarding, passengers were all required to take a PCR test and reportedly all tests of those onboard came back negative, adhering to Hong Kong’s Coronavirus travel rules.
Upon arrival in Hong Kong, passengers entered into the mandatory quarantine procedure, staying in a government-mandated quarantine facility at their own expense for 21 days, similar to the UK’s current hotel quarantine policy. It is reported that upon arrival, six of the passengers travelling with Vistara tested positive at the airport. Soon after, this number was up to 25 positive cases. When passengers at quarantine facilities were tested upon day 12 of their quarantine period, another 22 people tested positive, driving the total number of positive cases up to an astounding 47.
Until now, Hong Kong had been managing to keep COVID cases at bay. This was largely thanks to its strict measures in place for arrivals, from the strict testing and quarantining process to only allowing residents and those with a valid travel reason to enter.
Unsurprisingly now, in light of the record number of imported cases, Hong Kong has made the decision to ban all arrivals from India. Starting from tomorrow, 20th April, India will face a 14-day ban on operating flights. Hong Kong authorities have also placed similar bans on Pakistan and the Philippines due to serious concerns regarding mutant, more contagious strains of the virus. Hong Kong is taking no risks in order to keep its citizens safe and avoid jeopardising the hard work they have put into controlling the pandemic.
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