Infected travelers from Italy escape COVID-19 quarantine after plane lands in India

By Jessica Schladebeck

At least a dozen travelers from Italy managed to escape quarantine after they tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving in India.

The international flight touched down on Wednesday at an airport in the city of Amritsar around 1:30 p.m. local time.

While most passengers were negative for coronavirus before their departure from Milan, the vast majority of them — 125 of 179 — were positive for the virus by the time the plane landed.

City official Sherjang Singh told BBC Punjabi that of the infected, nine people fled the airport to avoid the mandated quarantine period while another four escaped isolation at a hospital.

While it’s unclear how the first group of infected got away, authorities at the hospital told NDTV that the four who were already in quarantine allegedly “tricked the health officials.”

Authorities in India remained on the hunt for the missing passengers more than 24 hours later and have already expressed intentions to file charges against them.

The incident comes amid a spike in omicron cases in India, which has already left some hospitals understaffed and overwhelmed. On Friday, the nation reported 117,100 new COVID-19 cases — the highest daily increase in nearly seven months.

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