A female employee of the Air India’s ground handling subsidiary, Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) has tested positive for novel coronavirus. She been admitted to the BMC hospital in the western suburb of Jogeshwari in Mumbai, according to the sources.
She had handled the last arriving flight of Air India before all domestic air passenger flights were temporarily suspended by the government from last Wednesday, according to news agency PTI’s sources.
AIATSL chief A K Sharma could not be contacted despite several attempts.
This report comes on the heel of another worrisome news that SpiceJet pilot with no international trips was tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday
SpiceJet on Sunday, said in a statement that one of its pilot had tested positive for the deadly novel coronavirus. It reported that the pilot did not fly any flight in the month of March.
The pilot is in self-quarantine at his residence. The airline company also told that the pilot has been provided with appropriate medical care.
All crew and staff members who had been in direct contact with the pilot have been asked to self-quarantine by staying at home for the next 14 days.
“One of our colleagues, a first officer with SpiceJet, has tested positive for COVID-19. The test report came on March 28. He did not operate any international flight in March 2020,” said spokesperson of SpiceJet airlines.
“The last domestic flight that he operated was on March 21 from Chennai to Delhi and since then he had quarantined himself at home,” the spokesperson added.
“The safety of our passengers and employees is our topmost priority. We have been diligently following the guidelines issued by the WHO and the Government of India. All our aircraft are being disinfected thoroughly since the end of January and the disinfectants used are as per the WHO standards,” said the airlines spokesperson.
The Central government too had issued guidelines on March 19 which instructed Indian Airlines to let the passengers coming from abroad to take a transit flight and then self quarantine at home to prevent the outbreak of Coronavirus in India.
According to the official, the self-imposed quarantine is a part of a precautionary standard operating procedure. It was also followed for the Air India crew which evacuated Indian nationals from China’s Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.
“We are following all prescribed Airport Health Organization guidelines,” the airline said in a statement.
All the airline services are suspended in the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
The airlines staff, one of the frontline workers against Coronavirus who took part in the many evacuations and were daily bringing passengers from all parts of the world, were also reported to be harassed and ostracized by vigilante residential societies, their landlords and neighbours in fear of them spreading Coronavirus.