- The British national boarded the flight at Kochi airport
- The man had boarded the flight along with his group of 18 others
- He was holidaying at Munnar in Kerala and was under surveillance
20 passengers of a Dubai-bound Emirates flight were offloaded at the Kochi airport in Kerala on Sunday shortly before takeoff after a British national among them tested positive for novel coronavirus that has killed over 5,000 people worldwide and infected over 1.3 lakh, Kochi airport officials said.
The man had boarded the flight along with a group of 19 others who were holidaying in the hill station of Munnar in Kerala and was under surveillance, a Cochin International Airport Limited spokesman said.
He allegedly did not inform informing authorities in Munnar while leaving the hotel where he was under quarantine and reached Kochi airport. The 19 others too are foreign nationals, according to airport officials.
He was tracked down to the airport by health officials after his test results showed that he was coronavirus-positive, Kochi airport authorities said.
Sources have said that while he was under isolation, the results came on Sunday, testing him positive for coronavirus.
While the Emirates flight took off with 250 passengers shortly before 1 pm on Sunday, the British national and his wife have been quarantined. 17 others in their group have been quarantined at a hotel and are under surveillance.
Kerala has reported 22 coronavirus cases so far. The first three positive cases in the state were cured and discharged from hospitals last month. At least 270 people are in isolation wards at various hospitals in the state and over 4,000 people under observation, of which 3,910 are under home quarantine.The state has set up three testing facilities to tackle the viral infection.
The coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday.
India has suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus as cases across India rose to over 100.