A total of 12 asymptomatic passengers, who travelled onboard four flights operated by domestic carrier IndiGo have tested positive for COVID-19, the airline said on May 28.
Three passengers who travelled on a Delhi-Jammu flight on May 26, six passengers who were on a Bengaluru-Coimbatore flight on May 27, two passengers who were on a Delhi-Coimbatore flight on May 27 and one passenger who was on a Bengaluru-Madurai flight on May 27 tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the airline said.
Domestic passenger flights resumed in India from May 25, after having remained suspended for over two months in light of the COVID-19 pandemic-led lockdown. Since then, 16 passengers onboard flights operated by three different airlines have tested positive for COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
On May 28 evening, IndiGo said in a statement, "A few asymptomatic passengers who travelled on IndiGo flights were discovered to be COVID-19 positive on May 28, 2020. This included 3 passengers on 6E 955 from Delhi to Jammu on May 26, 6 passengers on board 6E 6992 from Bengaluru to Coimbatore on May 27 and 2 passengers on 6E 908 from Delhi to Coimbatore on May 27.
Earlier during the day, the airline said in another statement, "An asymptomatic passenger who travelled on IndiGo on 6E 7214 from Bangalore to Madurai on May 27, 2020 was discovered to be COVID-19 positive during the mandatory testing at the quarantine facility in Madurai on 27th May."
The passenger had observed all precautionary measures, including wearing face mask, face shield and gloves, like other passengers on the aircraft, IndiGo added.
"All our aircraft are regularly sanitized as a standard operating procedure, and the aircraft operating these flights were immediately disinfected as per protocol," the airline said in both the statements."The operating crew has been home quarantined 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," it said in both the statements.
SpiceJet had said on May 27 that two of its passengers who travelled from Ahmedabad to Guwahati via Delhi on May 25 tested positive for COVID-19.stated on May 27 that a passenger who was on an Alliance Air flight from the national capital to Ludhiana tested positive for coronavirus and a total of 41 people, including five crew members, had been quarantined.