Four Vande Bharat Mission evacuees test Covid-19 positive in Bihar

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Four out of 2,284 passengers who landed at Bihar’s Bodh Gaya international airport after evacuation from different countries in the second phase of the Vande Bharat Mission, have tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus diseases (Covid-19).

“Two of the four passengers to have tested positive for the virus had arrived from Qatar and one each from Oman and Saudia Arabia,” said Gaya civil surgeon Dr Brajesh Kumar Singh.

The Gulf returnees to have tested positive for the virus belong to Bihar’s Gaya, Gopalganj, East Champaran and Muzaffarpur districts.

Results of five other samples sent to the Patna Medical College (PMCH) for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a confirmatory test for Covid-19, were pending, he added.

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These passengers were tested on different dates after they landed at the Gaya international airport between May 31and June 6. They are presently undergoing treatment at the Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College Hospital (ANMMCH), which has been designated a Covid-19 special facility, added Dr Singh.

“Four of the 11 samples sent for confirmatory test to the PMCH have been found to be positive, while two samples, which had tested positive on the TrueNat machine, have turned out to be negative. Five results are pending,” said Dr Singh.

52 of the 2,284 air passengers to have arrived at Gaya were found to be symptomatic. Of them, 10 tested positive on the TrueNat machine, while another sample of a Covid-positive woman passenger’s husband, was also sent for confirmatory test to the PMCH, he added.

“The Air India operated flights from nine countries to Gaya during phase-II of the Vande Bharat Mission, catering to around 2,500 passengers from Bihar and Jharkhand between May 18 and June 6,” said Dilip Kumar, director of the Gaya international airport.

“Our airport facilitated movement of 12 Air India aircraft from nine countries under Vande Bharat Mission, besides catering to special evacuation flights from Myanmar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman during this period,” added Kumar.

Notably, 72% of Bihar’s 5,583 Covid-19 cases are among the migrant workers. Over 2 million migrants have returned to the state by 1,491 Shramik Special trains between May 3 and June 5, said Anupam Kumar, secretary, information and public relations department, Bihar.

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