UK national bound for Dubai tests positive for coronavirus,

detained along with 19 others at Kochi airport Kochi, Mar 15 (PTI) Twenty Dubai-bound passengers were detained at the airport here on Sunday shortly before takeoff after a UK national among them tested positive for novel coronavirus, official sources said.

This takes the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kerala to 20 so far.

The person who tested positive on Sunday has been taken to an isolation facility at a nearby government hospital, a Cochin International Airport Limited spokesman said.

The flight left for Dubai in the afternoon after the 20 passengers were detained.

Earlier, at least 289 passengers of the Dubai-bound Emirates flight were offloaded at the airport here after the UK person was found to be infected by the coronavirus.

The spokesman, however, did not mention the number of passengers onboard the flight when it left.

The UK passenger belonged to a group of 19 holidaying in the hill resort town of Munnar in Kerala and was under surveillance, he said earlier in the day.

The passenger joined the group to reach the Kochi airport without informing authorities in Munnar, he said.

When the test result came, the authorities came to know that he was at the Kochi airport and travelling by the Emirates flight. Firstly, it was decided to offload all 19 passengers of his group, the official said.

'Now, it is decided to offload the remaining 270 pax also and send them to hospital for further investigation', he added. PTI TGB VS VS