On arrival at Amritsar airport, 125 passengers flying from Italy tested positive for COVID-19. There were 179 people on board the aircraft.

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This comes as all airports across the country, particularly those that receive international passengers, are undergoing increased testing. In the aftermath of the omicron outbreak, India designated several countries as ‘at risk.’ One of them was Italy.

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VK Seth, the airport director, confirmed the number of people who tested positive for COVID on Thursday.

Although it was previously claimed that the flight belonged to Air India, it turned out to be a chartered flight.

“Several Media houses have reported that Passengers of Air India flight from Rome to Amritsar have been tested COVID positive. This is wrong and baseless. Air India doesn’t operate any flight from Rome currently,” Air India tweeted.

The Centre wrote to 9 states and UTs on Thursday, urging them to increase testing as the country prepares for a new wave of the pandemic. Punjab is one of the states that has been highlighted for insufficient testing.

Also read: India reports first omicron death in Rajasthan as COVID-19 cases rise

According to health ministry data, India saw the largest single-day increase of 495 omicron cases on Thursday, bringing the overall number of the new variation to 2,630. According to officials from the Ministry of Health, omicron has become the most common strain in major cities.

A large number of people testing positive, similar to a cluster outbreak, presents a significant difficulty for airport officials.

Hundreds of passengers on the Cordelia cruise ship, which returned from Goa, tested positive in Mumbai.