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Monday, 28 December 2020

Eight +ve fliers’ samples sent to Pune lab

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune news service

Amritsar, December 27

The state Health Department has dispatched samples of eight confirmed Covid-19 passengers, who arrived from the UK at the Sri Guru Ramdas Jee International (SGRDJI) Airport on December 22, to the Pune laboratory for genome test to ascertain whether they carry the new virus strain or not.

Delayed order from the Union Government to keep track of those arriving from Britain in a bid to prevent the new strain from reaching India is keeping officials here on the toes.

Two flights a week have been arriving from the UK for the past one month before these were stopped by the Centre on December 21.

1K of 1,550 from UK traced so far

  • In past one month, 1,550 flew in from the UK to holy city
  • 1,000 of them living in various districts have been traced
  • No passenger data as airlines keep record of 24 hours

Airport Director VK Seth said the flights, operated under the Vande Bharat and Air Bubble schemes of the Centre, brought in around 1,550 passengers in the past one month. No scheduled international flight had been flying from the local airport since the start of the pandemic.

Neither the airport authorities nor airlines had the data of these passengers as airlines only kept record for 24 hours, he said.

Sethi added unlike the rapid test, which gave result within half an hour, all passengers were subjected to the RT-PCR on arrival, report of which arrives in seven to eight hours.

Officials of the health department along with district administrations are engaged in tracing the passengers. Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, State Nodal Officer for Covid-19, said 1,000 passengers, residing in different districts of the state, had been traced so far.

Cases of those from other states were being handed over to respective governments. Efforts were on to trace the remaining passengers, he added.

Dr RS Sethi, District Civil Surgeon, said 78 of the 81 passengers from the holy city had been traced and efforts were on to locate others.

The government wants to keep track of the passengers as UK's new strain displays symptoms even a week after coming in contact with the virus.

from The Tribune

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