16 of 78 Afghanistan evacuees test positive for Covid

16 of 78 Afghanistan evacuees, who landed yesterday, test positive for Covid-19

Those who tested positive for the virus include the three granthis who carried the copies of the Sikh holy scriptures back to India from Kabul

As precaution, the government has quarantined all the 78 evacuees. Credit: AFP Photo

A total of sixteen out of 78 evacuees who landed at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport from Kabul on Tuesday has tested positive for Covid-19. The infected evacuees also include the three Sikhs who brought back with them Guru Granth Sahib from Afghanistan Gurdwaras.

Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and V. Muraleedharan received the Guru Granth sahib brought from Afghanistan at the Delhi airport from the Sikhs and came in contact of the infected people.

However, Union Ministers coming into contact with infected people have not been officially confirmed yet.

Also Read — Puri receives holy books from Kabul; 44 Afghan Sikhs flown in from Afghanistan

All the positive people have been admitted to LNJP Hospital and the rest are quarantined at an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) camp in south-west Delhi's Chhawla.

All the evacuees coming from Afghanistan will have to undergo quarantine for 14 days at the ITBP quarantine centre at Chhawla in southwest Delhi, according to the guidelines of the Health Ministry.

"As the Covid-19 immunisation status of these individuals is unknown, and the exact extent of COVID-19 transmission (including circulation of variants) in Afghanistan is unclear at present, so as a matter of abundant precaution, it has been decided that the arriving persons shall undergo a mandatory minimum 14 days' institutional quarantine at Sector Headquarters Logistic and Communications, Indo Tibetan Border Police, Chhawla Camp," the Union Health Ministry's office memorandum said.

Earlier on Tuesday, 78 people, including 46 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, flew into Delhi from Kabul via Dushanbe on an Air India flight along with three copies of Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib.