New Delhi: In a major scare, all passengers of a Dubai-bound flight from Kochi were deboarded after one of the passengers, a British national, was found to have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, news agency PTI said, quoting airport officials.Also Read - Trending News Today, March 15, 2020: Kerala Teacher Visits Student’s Home to Deliver Mid-day Meal Amid Coronavirus, Adorable Picture Wins the Internet

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289 passengers were on board the Emirates flight. They were evacuated after the said passenger was discovered to have resulted positive for coronavirus. Also Read - Coronavirus: Kerala Govt Issues Fresh Guidelines, Decides to Hold 'Attukal Pongala' on Monday

“The passenger was a part of a group of 19 tourists holidaying in the hill resort town of Munnar and had been under surveillance,” an official of the Cochin International Airport was quoted as saying by PTI.

The official added that the passenger joined his group at the airport without informing authorities in Munnar. It was only when his test result came out that the authorities came to know that he was at Kochi airport and about to board an Emirates flight to Dubai. The airport authorities were immediately informed, who then got all the passengers offloaded from the flight before it could takeoff.

Kerala, which reported India’s first three cases of coronavirus, in January, has taken a series of steps to contain the spread of the virus. These include shutting down schools, colleges, cinema halls, malls etc. People have been told to avoid big gatherings and hotels and resorts have been told not to rake in any foreign tourists till further notice.

The first three coronavirus cases, meanwhile, have fully recovered.

There have been a total of 19 COVID-19 cases in the state thus far.