New COVID-19 strains: health officials on alert

Health officials in the central region have been instructed to keep a close watch on travellers from abroad, in the light of spread of new strain of the corona virus. Testing strategies, meanwhile, have been modified, especially for travellers from the UK and four other countries, officials said.

Speaking to The Hindu, S. Ram Ganesh, Deputy Director of Health Services, Tiruchi, said that travellers from the UK, Brazil, South Africa and from the Middle East, must carry negative RT-PCR reports. “While all travellers from abroad are required the test report, travellers from these countries will be kept on a watch and another test will be taken after seven days,” he said.

The Tiruchi International Airport also has a counter where the RT-PCR test can be conducted for travellers. The test will take eight hours to process, following which, the patient can be placed in home quarantine or at a hospital, depending upon the results.

Meanwhile, at Thanjavur, where a few local clusters too, were identified over the past month, surveillance has been increased, said I. Raveendran, Deputy Director of Health Services, Thanjavur. “We have identified three clusters and have controlled them. Contact tracing and testing have helped us in this feat,” he said.

In the district, seven patients who returned from the UK tested positive in January. While their samples were lifted and sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, the results were yet to be received. “We have isolated them, treated them and they have returned home after recovery too,” he said.

As of this week, 19 foreign returnees are in home quarantine in the district. “Following a meeting with the Chief Secretary, we have been instructed to intensify follow-ups. We have also been able to keep a check on the death rate in the district, by ensuring patients receive treatment on time,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 10:39:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/new-covid-19-strains-health-officials-on-alert/article33933349.ece

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