A 34-year-old man flew from New Delhi to Guwahati and landed in Kolkata to declare at the airport that he was coronavirus positive and needed to be kept in quarantine.
A resident of North 24 Parganas, the man had no symptoms of COVID-19 when he landed in Kolkata on Tuesday around 5 pm and was waved through by airport staff. But the man refused to leave the airport, saying he had a cough and needed to be quarantined. When even that didn’t impress the airport staff, he pulled out a report that indeed said he had tested positive for coronavirus.
Airport authorities were shocked and immediately quarantined the man at the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute at Rajarhat, which is the closest one to the airport.
A frantic effort is now on to trace the passengers on the flight the man took from Delhi to Guwahati and then Guwahati to Kolkata.
Delhi and Guwahati airports have also been alerted, with questions being raised about how the man could slip through check in Delhi. Even more pertinent, how was the man even out and about in Delhi with a COVID-19 positive test report in his pocket.
When flights were allowed after the first phase of the lockdown, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had questioned the surveillance of passengers at airports, saying there was none. Earlier this month, she also stopped incoming flights to the state from six high prevalence cities across the country, including Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.