A private laboratory has been implicated for a severe testing error that led to the false diagnosis of COVID-19 infection in 298 passengers on just two flights.
Many of the ‘affected’ passengers onboard the two flights to Amritsar, Punjab, India, sought their own tests, which indicated that they were not contaminated with Covid.
The Indian Airports Authority has now launched an investigation into the laboratory that performed the initial tests on behalf of local health officials.
Last Monday, a charter flight operated by Euroatlantic Airways from Rome to Amritsar was discovered to have 125 Covid positive passengers onboard, raising eyebrows.
Despite the fact that the travelers had tested negative before departure, the obligatory testing on arrival was vastly different.
A few days later, a second charter flight set a new record for the number of Covid positive passengers onboard, with 173 people reportedly infected with COVID-19.
The test positivity rate on the first flight was estimated to be 75%, while the test positivity rate on the second flight was estimated to be 82 percent.
Although officials haven’t released the revised number, the true number of Covid positive travelers is substantially lower.
“A probe has been initiated by the Airports Authority of India against the alleged errant working of the laboratory. The services of the existing Delhi-based laboratory have been suspended,” Assistant Civil Surgeon Dr Amarjit Singh said in comments reported by the New India Express.“The lab was engaged on December 15 last year by the AAI. Now a new local laboratory has resumed its working at the airport.”
The Omicron variety has caused COVID-19 infection rates to skyrocket across Europe, yet the number of infections discovered on these flights appeared to be far outpacing the local infection rate.