More than 50 passengers who tested negative for coronavirus prior to boarding a flight have since tested positive in a startling event that has left experts baffled.
The number of positive tests was standing at 47, but has now risen to 52.
Charter flight UK6395, operated by Indian airline Vistara, arrived from Delhi in Hong Kong on April 4 after all passengers returned negative Covid-19 results before flying, Fox News reported.
Six of those with tickets were denied access to the flight, arranged to get people stranded in India home to Hong Kong, due to their test standard not being adequate, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Before beginning Hong Kong's mandatory three-week quarantine period, eight of the 146 passengers tested positive, with a further 44 returning positive results while in quarantine.
Passenger Rashida Fathima was on the flight with her husband and two children, and all tested positive while in quarantine, according to Fox News.
Mrs Fathima told the outlet she and her family wore masks for most of the journey and avoided using the on-flight bathrooms.
Despite their best efforts, they were seated in the same row as another passenger who Mrs Fathima said coughed throughout the flight.
47 passengers on Vistara flight UK6395 from New Delhi to Hong Kong on April 4th have now tested positive for COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/Mb4wCEPMPl
— Aaron is Bubble Bound 🤞 🇭🇰 (@tripperhead) April 18, 2021
She said others took their masks off to eat - which was permitted - and parents walked up and down the aisle with their crying children.
The airline told the Wall Street Journal it complied with all health guidelines issued by India and destination countries.
There is widespread speculation over how the passengers came to be infected, with some suggesting they acquired the virus while in quarantine in Hong Kong.
Others have suggested there may have been a particularly virulent strain of the virus on the plane, which could explain why so many people became infected.
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