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Rahul Gandhi underwent coronavirus test on return from Italy

By R Rajagopalan
March 06, 2020 14:45 IST
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The Congress leader followed the drill issued by the Director-General of Civil Aviation for all passengers coming from Italy, which mandates a thorough check-up for covid-19, reports R Rajagopalan. 

IMAGE: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi joins the Opposition protest over the Delhi riots on March 2, 2020, a day after he returned from Italy. Photograph: Shahbaz Khan / PTI Photo.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi underwent the mandatory coronavirus test at T3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport on his return to India last weekend.

Gandhi boarded Air India flight no 138 from Milan on February 29 evening and landed at the IGIA the next morning. 

Highly placed government sources said Gandhi followed the drill issued by the Director-General of Civil Aviation for all passengers coming from Italy, which mandates a thorough check-up for covid-19. 

 

Since Italy is on the watch-list of nations with high coronavirus risk, all passengers disembarking were requested to undergo the tests. 

Rahul Gandhi was returning to the country after two weeks, in which time the world has come together to combat the spread of covid-19. 

Since the Congress member of Parliament has Z-plus security cover, he was offered all due courtesies. Sources say that Rahul Gandhi decided to follow the drill along with other passengers and volunteered to follow all instructions. 

The check-up went on for 20-25 minutes even as his personal staff and security personnel were anxious that the process be completed quickly. But Rahul Gandhi signalled to them that the system must be followed, say these sources.  

Rahul Gandhi was also briefed extensively by the health authorities at the airport about the do's and don'ts regarding covid-19.  

Sources say that Rahul Gandhi left the airport after profusely thanking the health department officials deployed for the tests. 

Since Italy has emerged as Europe's covid-19 hub, India has not only suspended visa facilities including visa on arrival to the country, but additionally on Thursday also decided passengers from Italy and South Korea submit a certificate of having "tested" negative from a health authorities-designated lab in their countries for coronavirus at the departure airport.

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