File Photo: Cairo airport. Al-Ahram
Egypt has banned on Thursday the entry of seven Indian passengers after testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival despite of a presented negative PCR test.
Informed sources told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that health authorities at the airport tested seven Indian passengers arriving from Oman for the virus using the newly used rapid molecular test, known as ID NOW, that only takes 15 minutes to detect coronavirus infections.
The passengers have been isolated at an airport hall, before boarding the same flight back to Muscat.
The sources said that the airport’s health authorities have asked all airline operators arriving at Cairo airport to provide the names of passengers arriving from countries where the Indian COVID-19 variant has been detected.
Egypt said earlier in May that it will conduct a rapid coronavirus test for visitors from countries where coronavirus variants emerged upon their arrival in the country.
Health officials said Egypt did not detect any case of the Indian COVID-19 variant to date.
Egyptians and non-Egyptians coming from countries with coronavirus variants are required to undergo the test, and they will also be subjected to medical examination.
PCR test results are also required, which the visitors have to submit before entering the country.
The move comes as many countries are currently seeing a new variant of coronavirus, the B1617, which was first detected in India and is scientifically believed to be more transmissible.
India has been recently hit by one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks, with the new variant pushing infections to over 400,000 new daily cases.