As many as 24 passengers who had planned to fly to the United Arab Emirates tested positive at Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) during mandatory rapid RT-PCR tests six hours prior to departure between August 18 and September 22. They were moved to isolation wards.
Besides negative RT-PCR test reports that are no older than 48 hours, the Gulf nation has also made tests at the airport six hours prior to departure mandatory.
Data shows 8,261 passengers were tested at MIA between August 18 to September 22 and those who tested positive comprise less than 0.3%. All 24 passengers had Covid-19 negative certificates with them.
Dr. Ashok H, Covid-19 nodal officer, Dakshina Kannada, said the passengers were from Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Kasaragod, and Palakkad in Kerala besides Dakshina Kannada. Four from Kerala tested positive, while Dakshina Kannada (13 passengers) had the most.
Explaining why some tested positive at the airport, Dr. Ashok said the rapid RT-PCR test is a far more accurate test.
“The normal RT-PCR test detects the presence of the virus depending on the viral load and when the swab sample was collected,” he said.
“RT-PCR test may not detect the virus in asymptomatic people, but the rapid version does. The rapid test costs three to four times more than regular RT-PCR test and results are obtained in 15 minutes.”
(Source: CNN, not edited by travelobiz staff)