Chennai

U.K. returnee tests positive for new virus strain

Some 2,300 persons returned to the State from the U.K. between November 25 and December 21.

Some 2,300 persons returned to the State from the U.K. between November 25 and December 21.

The sample of one U.K. returnee, who had tested positive for COVID-19 and is under isolation at a hospital, has been found to be positive for the new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, reported from U.K., Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said.

The patient, a resident of Chennai, is among six U.K. returnees whose samples were found to be positive for the new U.K. variant genome, following genomic analysis in the country.

“He was quarantined immediately on arrival. He was isolated in a separate room at the hospital, soon after he tested positive for COVID-19, and all his contacts too have been tested. Those who travelled with him in the flight were tested and found to be negative. He is doing well,” he told reporters, following an inspection at the Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital on Tuesday morning.

According to a bulletin issued by the Health Department, six more U.K. returnees tested positive for COVID-19 in the State, taking the total number of primary cases to 19. The contact of a patient was also found to be infected. Till date, of the 100 contacts of the 19 patients, 16 have tested positive for COVID-19 and 79 negative. Results of five were awaited. Samples of the patients were sent for genomic analysis to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. All of them have been undergoing treatment in separate isolation wards in hospitals and are doing well, he said.

Till date, 30 samples have been sent to NIV for genomic analysis, of which the result of one has arrived. The remaining results are awaited, and three more samples are being sent for genomic analysis, he said

He said the Centre had informed that there was no need for any change in the existing testing and treatment protocols and that there was no need for panic. “From the beginning, the State has insisted on RT-PCR negative reports, 96 hours prior to travelling from abroad, and immediate home quarantine on arrival. As a result of these two measures, the chances of transmission are less,” he added.

Approximately 2,300 persons have returned to the State, from the U.K., between November 25 and December 21. “Of these, a number of persons have moved to other States and some of them have returned abroad. We have traced their details through e-passes,” he said.

A reconciled figure of 2,080 persons was arrived at after doing away with double entries and those who moved to other States. Of them, 1,549 have been traced and tested, out of whom 1,432 have tested negative for the virus. “The remaining 531 persons are being traced. A majority of those who need to be traced are in Chennai and Chengalpattu. These include 478 persons from Chennai, 25 in Chengalpattu and six each in Kancheepuram, Tiruchi and Tiruvallur,” he said.

While a separate ward with 120 beds has been set up at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, a similar facility, with 100 beds, has also been set up at KMC.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 6:39:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/uk-returnee-tests-positive-for-new-virus-strain/article33449568.ece