At least 13 travellers have evaded institutional quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 upon arriving in the Indian city of Amritsar.
On a chartered flight from Milan that landed on Wednesday afternoon, they were among 125 infected passengers.
According to Sherjang Singh, a city official, nine of them escaped from the airport and four more got away from a local hospital.
All of them will face charges, according to the police.
On Friday, India reported more than 100,000 cases; scientists believe Omicron is to blame for the recent spike in infections in the country.
The trip from Italy to India had a total of 160 passengers. According to reports, children and newborns (about 19 of them) were excused from testing.
Ambulances lined up outside the airport gates to transport the infected travellers to the hospital, as masses gathered outside the gates.
Officials claimed all afflicted passengers were taken to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in the city.
It’s unclear how four of the passengers got out of the airport, but hospital officials told the media that the nine who got out of the hospital “tricked the health officials.”
According to the police, they have started the process of cancelling their passports.
“If they don’t come back by morning, we’ll publish their images in the press and file charges against them,” Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khehra told the media.
Punjab, which includes Amritsar, is one of several states that have reinstated limitations to combat the rise in Covid-19 infections. The state declared a temporary night curfew and closed all schools and universities on Tuesday.
More than 35 million Covid cases have been reported in India, with approximately 483,000 deaths as a result of the infection.