50% decline in Covid positive passengers at Srinagar Airport

Despite a constant increase in the number of flights and incoming passengers, the Covid19 positivity rate at the Srinagar International Airport has witnessed a drop of almost 50 per cent this month.

As per official figures, compared to 30 to 40 daily positive cases of inbound passengers seen in September, the rate has now dropped to just 10 to 15 daily positive cases being reported this month.

Senior officials told this newspaper that although the daily number of flyers has increased from 1000-1200 in June- July to almost 2000-2200 passengers at present, the number of positive cases has dropped significantly this month.

“The passenger influx has increased so has the number of tests being conducted. Today 753 travellers arrived and only 6 tested positive. While last month we used to get almost 30-40 positive cases daily,” said an official.

The official said apart from travellers, testing of airport staff was also being conducted regularly. He said during  the last two weeks “there have been times when we have seen just single digit positive cases.”

As per the official, the lowest number of daily positive cases reported at the Airport was on October 9 with just 4 travellers having tested positive. The highest this month was on October 2 with 25 positive cases.

“The daily positivity ratio has dropped to 1 percent,” the official said.

Official data suggests that the highest number of positive cases at the Srinagar Airport since May was witnessed last month with 793 passengers having tested positive. In May 52 positive cases, in June 135 cases, July 234 cases and in August 602 positive cases were reported from the Srinagar Airport. However, this month so far only 239 passengers have tested positive till October 18.

As per official data, since May 25 this year, when the air traffic was resumed after a hiatus of two months owing to the lockdown due to Covid19, a total number of 303027 passengers have arrived at the Srinagar Airport. “Of these 300318 have been domestic passengers while 2709 were passengers who travelled from abroad in international repatriation flights,” the official said.

Officials said 2204 domestic and 20 international flights have arrived at the Srinagar Airport in the last 5 months. As per official data, 132320 persons were tested for Covid19 between May 25 and October 18 at the airport out of which 2055 tested positive.

Earlier the testing at the airport used to be conducted by RT-PCR method and the report of this used to take almost two to three days. However, now with rapid antigen test the result for Covid 19 is communicated to the travellers at the airport itself.

Director Srinagar Airport, Santosh Dhoke, said all guidelines such as social distancing and use of face masks were being followed at the airport.

“The message from civil aviation and ministry of health is that focus should be on social distancing, hand sanitisation and wearing of masks. We are stressing a lot on all these three factors,” Dhoke said.