After 19 Indians who flew to China’s Wuhan from Delhi on a “Vande Bharat” flight tested COVID-19 positive on arrival on Friday, Air India has reacted to the same. In a statement to NDTV, Air India said, “All our passengers to Wuhan boarded the flight from Delhi with negative Covid reports from certified labs. Air India strictly adheres to all safety protocol laid down by regulatory bodies and conforms to requirements at destination airports”.

“There is no question of passengers boarding any of our flights without valid Covid reports,” the airline further stated. Reportedly, though 39 others are asymptomatic, Chinese officials suspect that they too are infected. All 58 have been hospitalised. As per rules, anyone boarding an international flight needs to undergo two COVID-19 tests.

Earlier too, the outbound passengers on Air India flights have tested COVID-19 positive on arrival at their destination countries.

Hong Kong, on Wednesday, imposed a ban on all Air India flights till November 10 after a couple of passengers on a flight from Mumbai tested positive. This is the fourth time Hong Kong has banned banned Air India flights. Dubai also banned Air India Express after a passenger was found positive on arrival.

Indian government has suspended international flights since the lockdown on March 23.However, special flight have been permitted to fly under the “Vande Bharat” umbrella. Airlines have also been allowed to operate flights under bilateral “air bubble” pacts signed with approx 18 countries in July.