The Hong Kong government has suspended all Air India flights amid a rise in fresh coronavirus cases in the country. The flights have been suspended till October 3 after passengers aboard were found to be infected with coronavirus. The coronavirus cases in Hong Kong rose to their highest level in nearly a month on Sunday.
"Hong Kong has prohibited Air India for two weeks -- September 20 to October 3," a spokesperson of the national carrier was reported as saying by PTI.
One-third of the 23 fresh COVID-19 cases were in people who had recently travelled from India, according to the Centre for Health Protection. The flights operated by Air India were banned by Hong Kong in August as well.These flights were part of the Vande Bharat Mission. The flights were barred from landing in Hong Kong between August 18 and August 31 after 14 passengers on its Delhi-Hong Kong flight of August 14 tested positive for COVID-19 post arrival.
"For those who took a transit [flight] at another place, how can we accurately ask for information whether they have been to high-risk places during the 14 days before boarding a flight [to Hong Kong]?" South China Morning Post reported citing Dr Leung Chi-chiu, a specialist in respiratory medicine, as saying.
All international passengers are required to undergo a post-flight COVID-19 test at the Hong Kong airport. According to new emergency health rules put into place last week, any airline with five or more people suffering from coronavirus on a single flight has to be temporarily suspended.