Maharashtra: Eight passengers from UK test positive for new Covid variant

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 04, 2021

Municipal workers guide passengers arriving from UK, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai   -  Rafiq Maqbool

The Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope tweeted on Monday evening that eight passengers who returned from the UK have tested positive for the mutated variant of Covid in Maharashtra.

Among the passengers, five are from Mumbai and one each from Pune, Thane and Mira Bhayander area. The passengers have been placed in quarantine and their contact tracing is underway, Tope said in the tweet.

In a sound byte shared with the media by the Maharashtra Government , Tope said that between November 25 and December 21 about 4,000 passengers arrived in Mumbai airport from the UK. They were placed under institutional qurantine and swabs samples taken, out of which 43 swabs were positive for the Covid virus.

The swabs were further sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune for finding out the numbers of swabs, which carried mutant strain. The samples were subjected to genomic sequencing. It was found that out of the 43, eight samples have mutated virus. These eight patients would be handled according to ICMR protocol. Complete contact tracing of these patients is underway rapidly, Tope said.

Tope added that this mutated virus can spread faster but there is no need to panic in this situation.However, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing are must.

In a precautionary measure on December 21, the Maharashtra Government has decided to impose night curfew in municipal corporation areas of the state till January 5 in view of the outbreak of the new mutant Covid strain.

Published on January 04, 2021

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