Health dept clears air over AirAsia passengers issue

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Apr 19: The health department on Saturday sought to dispel fear among the citizens over the passengers from Arunachal who had flown on the same AirAsia flights with a person from Assam who later tested Covid-19 positive.
Addressing media persons, the state nodal officer-cum-coordinator of the quarantine centres, Dr Gomi Basar, informed that 16 persons from Arunachal had booked tickets for the first AirAsia flight (15-798). However, he said, 12 passengers later cancelled their tickets.
“Of the four who took the flight, one has been traced to Delhi, and another one is in Jammu & Kashmir. The other two are under quarantine in Itanagar,” Dr Basar said.
Thirty passengers from Arunachal had flown on the second AirAsia flight (15-788) on 21 March, Dr Basar said.
“Out of the 30 passengers, 17 have been traced and put under home quarantine in the capital region. Five persons are from Pasighat, three from Seppa, two from Aalo, and one each from Tawang and Bomdila,” he said.
Dr Basar also clarified that the passengers’ list floating on social media actually contains the names of passengers who had cancelled their tickets, and not of those who travelled.
He appealed to the people not to stigmatize those whose names are on the list circulating on social media, as they did not take the flight.
Stating that the health department has been maintaining the confidentiality of the passengers’ list, Dr Basar said the list circulating on social media “might have been leaked by the intelligence people.”
“All the people are quarantined and they are cooperating,” he said.
“So far there is no coronavirus patient, and no contracted person has entered Arunachal; so, do not stigmatize those people,” Dr Basar pleaded.