49 Passengers Positive for COVID-19 After Preflight Negative Test Results

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Airlines assert they are doing everything possible to keep the COVID-19 infection rate down for passengers and employees. Proof of a negative virus test is required 72 hours before departure. Nonetheless, at least 49 people aboard an April 4th international flight contracted COVID-19, reports Audacy on April 21, 2021.

All passengers on Vistara flight 6395 from New Delhi to Hong Kong tested negative for COVID-19 72 hours before boarding. While reports vary from 49 to 53 individuals, COVID-19Aljazeera states Hong Kong officials confirm there 49 COVID-19 cases from the flight and believe cross-contamination at the hotel that is used for quarantine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instituted new rules in January that require passengers arriving in the United States to provide proof they tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before their departure.

On April 20, the U.S. State Department announced it would update travel warnings to bring them into alignment with the CDC recommendations. The “Level 4: Do Not Travel” alert now includes 80 percent of the global community — more than 100 countries, including the Bahamas, France, Italy, Brazil, India, Netherlands, U.K., Russia, and Mexico.

The department told CNN that the decision does not reflect the country’s current health status. Instead, the State Department’s Travel Advisory adjustment is meant to rely more on the CDC’s existing epidemiological appraisals of COVID-19.

International traveling poses added risks for both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated individuals. They are at risk of becoming infected and potentially spreading new COVID-19 variants.

The CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


Forbes: A Flight Just Set A Record For Positive Covid-19 Cases — Here’s Why That Will Not Happen In The U.S.; by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher
Audacy: 53 airline passengers test positive for COVID after testing negative 72 hours prior to departure; by Johnny Lopez
Aljazeera: 49 passengers on India-Hong Kong flight test positive for COVID
CNN: State Department to list 80% of countries as ‘Do Not Travel’ as it updates advisory system to align with CDC; by Jennifer Hansler

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Ramish NG’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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