45 UK returnees give tough time to health officials in GB Nagar

NOIDA: Over 45 travellers from the United Kingdom, who came to India after December 8, have either given wrong addresses or gone to tourists’ spots to celebrate the year-end holidays, officials of Gautam Budh Nagar administration said. As a result, health officials in the district are finding it tough to collect their samples for Covid-19 testing.

GB Nagar district magistrate Suhas LY said that in the wake of the rise of a new variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus in the UK, the district administration has prepared a list of 425 passengers who have arrived from that country in the past 30 days.

“While all of them have been asked to serve the mandatory 28-day home quarantine, the district health department has started locating 260 of them for RT-PCR testing, who have come to India after December 8. Our health officials are unable to trace as many as 46 of them, as either their residences are locked or addresses provided are wrong. When contacted over phone, most of them informed us that they are celebrating the year-end holidays in tourist places like Goa, Manali, and Shimla,” he said.

He further said the all UK travellers, who went on holidays, have been cross notified to the district surveillance offices of the districts concerned for their RT-PCR tests.

GB Nagar chief medical officer Dr Deepak Ohri said that so far, the health department has got results of RT-PCR tests of around 190 travellers, of which two women fliers have tested positive. “Both the infected patients have been admitted to an isolation ward at the Government Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) in Greater Noida. The presence of new variant of the virus among the positive patients can only be ascertained through reports of genomic sequencing, which will be provided by the ICMR laboratory in New Delhi,” he said.

A new variant of the virus, VUI-202012/01, was detected in the UK earlier this month, which is reported to be highly transmissible. The state government, in its standard operating procedure, had directed that those who have arrived from that country between November 23 and December 8 had to be in 28-day isolation and tested using the RT-PCR method if they showed symptoms. Those who came later would need to be tested mandatorily.

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