This explains a lot…
Huge number of coronavirus cases on two flights from Italy to India
Over the past several days I’ve written about a shocking number of positive coronavirus cases on two charter flights from Italy to India. For flights from high-risk countries, India requires not only testing prior to travel, but also testing upon arrival in India.
While it’s not unusual to have some people test positive for coronavirus upon arrival, two flights in particular had a bizarre number of positive cases (again, all travelers were negative before departure):
- On January 5, 2022, a EuroAtlantic charter flight from Milan to Amritsar had 125 of 160 passengers test positive, which is a 78% positivity rate
- On January 7, 2022, a EuroAtlantic charter flight from Rome to Amritsar had 173 of 210 passengers test positive, which is an 82% positivity rate
Something seemed off here, as I noted when I first wrote about this. Yes, omicron is incredibly contagious, but these positivity numbers were simply shocking, and were unlike anything we’ve seen before. The other bizarre coincidence here was that the two charter flights were operated by exactly the same aircraft. Not just the same airline, but literally the same tail number.
As it turns out, there’s an explanation…
Lab blamed for positive coronavirus test results
New reports suggest that a majority of the post-travel tests may have produced inaccurate results, as a majority of passengers retested, and were negative. Officials have now ordered a probe into the lab that conducted these tests (which has only been working with the airport for a few weeks), and the lab is no longer being used by the airport.
According to Assistant Civil Surgeon Dr. Amarjit Singh:
“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. The lab was engaged on December 15 last year by the AAI. Now a new local laboratory has resumed its working at the airport.”
Something seemed off when ~80% of passengers on two flights tested positive for coronavirus, especially since they had been tested before travel. Previously we had seen some flights where ~10% of passengers tested positive, which was otherwise a record.
But this just seemed like an inexplicable number, so it seems that the lab is to blame.
Are you surprised to see an error like this?