Coronavirus | How Kerala managed to halt a take-off to isolate COVID-19 positive tourist

Swift action ensured tourist was isolated, others evacuated

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:51 pm IST

Published - March 16, 2020 01:20 am IST - KOCHI

File photo of the Cochin International Airport in Kochi, Kerala

File photo of the Cochin International Airport in Kochi, Kerala

For the district administration, it was a race against time on Sunday to stop the Emirates flight bound for Dubai, which was to carry a UK national, who tested positive for COVID-19 .

According to the district administration, the news of the British national being at the Cochin International Airport was received by District Collector S. Suhas only 15 minutes before the flight was to take off. Swift action followed to ensure that the tourist was isolated and others at risk evacuated.

By the time instructions were issued to hold the flight, all the crew had boarded the plane, but the race was won in time to ensure that a crisis-like situation was avoided.

 

The Idukki district administration informed the collector here by 8.45 a.m. that the tourist, who was under surveillance in Munnar, had reached the Kochi airport. He was bound for Dubai by the flight scheduled to take off at 9 a.m. The Ernakulam District Collector then initiated steps to ensure that the flight did not take off. It was a rare occasion and an unprecedented step for the district administration.

Instructions were issued initially to evacuate all the 270 passengers on board the flight and to subject them to preliminary check. . They were evacuated.

The tourist and his wife were directly escorted to an ambulance ready at the airport and taken to the isolation ward of the Ernakulam Government Medical College Hospital. Minister for Agriculture V.S. Sunilkumar arrived at the airport to attend to the situation and consultation was held with the Chief Minister and Health Minister before the other travellers were allowed to fly by 12.47 p.m.

Airport disinfected

The airport administration then had the task of identifying those who had interacted with the UK tourist. Those who were identified have been shifted to their residences for observation. The aerobridge and other places in the airport area were disinfected immediately and the terminal was ready to receive other travellers by 3 p.m., the communication added.

 

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.