Rajasthan probes how 2 kids flew to US with parents after Covid+ve report

Jaipur’s chief medical officer Dr Narottam Sharma said they have informed the Rajasthan government’s health directorate about the case and are collecting more details about the family’s departure.
A laboratory technician carries swab samples collected from passengers amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi (REUTERS)
A laboratory technician carries swab samples collected from passengers amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi (REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 30, 2021 06:37 AM IST
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Health officials in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur are on a case where a family of four including two children reportedly took an early morning flight out of the country on Sunday despite the two minors, aged 8 and 6, testing positive for Covid-19.

Citing statements of the family’s relatives, Jaipur’s chief medical officer Dr Narottam Sharma said they appeared to have got a certificate from a doctor in Delhi that enabled the children to fly.

“This is a case of gross negligence, puts the lives of other passengers at risk,” Dr Sharma said.

According to guidelines by India’s Union ministry of health and family welfare, all contacts of positive persons should remain in quarantine for 10 days from onset of symptoms or from date of sampling for asymptomatic cases.

Instead, Dr Sharma said, the family appears to have taken a flight out at 2am on Sunday. The positive report was communicated to the family on Saturday.

Dr Sharma said the laboratory informed the administration about the positive status on Sunday afternoon. When local officials tried to contact the family at their local address for contact tracing, it turned out that they had already the country.

The family, which lives in the United States, came to India about a fortnight ago to meet relatives. They also travelled to Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir and Bikaner district in Rajasthan.

Dr Sharma said they have informed the state government’s health directorate about the case and are collecting more details about the family’s departure.

Dr Sharma said health officials were told by the family’s relatives in Jaipur that the Delhi doctor certified that the children did not show any symptoms.

The local health authorities have not, however, been able to access the certificate issued by the doctor. Or the circumstances under which airport authorities seem to have allowed the family to board the flight.

According to the US Centres for disease control and prevention, air passengers older than 2 years need to have tested negative Covid-19 within 72 hours of departure of their flight if the passengers are fully vaccinated. For those who haven’t received both vaccine doses, this time period is 24 hours before a flight.

There is also an option for passengers to produce documentation that they have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 90 days.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sachin Saini is Principal Correspondent with HT Rajasthan edition. He covers politics, tourism, forest, home, panchayati raj and rural development, and development journalism.

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Thursday, January 27, 2022