4-year-old boy forced to take COVID-19 test at Bengaluru airport [Representative image]| Photo credit: iStock Images
- The four-year-old boy and his parents, all holding US passports, were on vacation to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Airline staff have reportedly refused to let the four-year-old boy accompany his parents without providing a negative COVID-19 test report.
BangaloreNational airline ground staff reportedly forced four-year-old boy with US passport to take COVID-19 diagnostic test before departure at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bangalore , in Karnataka. Airline staff reportedly refused to let the child accompany his parents, also U.S. citizens, on a vacation trip to Port Blair without providing a negative COVID-19 test report.
In accordance with guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family, children under the age of five are exempt from undergoing COVID-19 tests before and after arriving at airports. The four-year-old was forced to take the COVID-19 test in violation of ministry guidelines. This highlights the fact that airline staff are not very familiar with the protocols in place to slow the spread of the virus.
According to a report by The time of India, Rajdeep Ganguly, a computer scientist, his wife and four-year-old son, all US citizens residing in Koramangala, had planned to go on vacation to Port Blair on Andaman and Nicobar Island. They were scheduled to take a Go First Airways flight to reach their vacation destination on November 27. At around 8 a.m., the family arrived at the airport, where they were shocked when airline staff asked them to deliver their four-year-old. son’s negative RT-PCR test report.
“I explained to airline staff that the protocol issued by the Union Health Ministry specifically exempts children under five from RT-PCR testing, but he refused to listen. He crudely replied that “if the boy tests negative he flies with you,” Ganguly said, quoted by the TOI report.
Airline staff, asked by the child’s parents, refused to show the clause that makes COVID-19 testing mandatory. Ganguly even contacted Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Ltd to confirm whether or not his son needed a negative report. In Port Blair, he was told the test was “unnecessary”, according to the report.