Coimbatore

Collection of swab samples of domestic passengers at airport stopped

The Health Department has stopped collection of swab samples of domestic passengers arriving at Coimbatore International Airport from Tuesday.

Results pending

Apart from stopping collection of swab samples of domestic air passengers, results of 20,000 swab samples of domestic air passengers that the Department had collected earlier were pending as of Thursday.

“The Health Department stopped collection of swab samples from domestic air passengers alone. Swab samples of passengers on repatriation flights are still collected,” said an airport official.

The Department was collecting swab samples of passengers from May 25 when domestic air services were resumed.

Since then, the domestic air passengers used to account for about 50 % of COVID-19 cases that were categorised as ‘imported’ in the district.

The Department had also mandated institutional quarantine for a day for domestic passengers till the result of swab test returned and seven days of compulsory paid quarantine for international passengers irrespective of the test result.

Airport officials said flights were being operated from Coimbatore to Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi.

As their swab samples were not collected, the passengers were advised to remain in home quarantine.

Overloading of samples

An official from the Department said the testing of samples of domestic passengers was stopped due to overloading of samples that were sent to the government approved laboratories here.

“Domestic passengers were mandated to remain in institutional quarantine till the results came. The results used to come out within a day when domestic flight services resumed on May 25. Now, the laboratories are not able to return the results due to overloading of samples. Several domestic passengers protested that they were not able to stay more than a day in institutional quarantine following which the sample collection was stopped,” the official added.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2020 12:58:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/collection-of-swab-samples-of-domestic-passengers-at-airport-stopped/article32036365.ece

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