New Covid strain: Maha to extensively survey UK-returned people

Airport

Mumbai, (Samajweekly) In a major initiative, the Maharashtra government will conduct a special survey of all passengers who have come from the UK in the past one month to detect if any carry symptoms of the new strain of the Covid-19 virus, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday.

The survey – as per Centre’s guidelines – will cover all incoming passengers to the state who landed at the international airports in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, between November 25 and December 23, he said.

“We have already received a list of the passengers who landed in Mumbai from UK from the airport health authorities and it has been sent to all districts and municipal corporations for further action,” Tope told media persons.

Officials concerned in district and civic bodies shall check them for symptoms and conduct RT-PCR Covid tests on them, he added.

The samples of those detected positive or infected, shall be sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune for genetic testing and ascertain if it matches the new Covid-19 virus strain detected in the UK.

Besides, all those who are found negative shall be followed up for the next 28 days since their arrival in India, the minister said.

As an added precaution, the contacts or close associates of any found positive shall be traced and all of them shall be sent to institutional quarantine, Tope said.

During the quarantine period, they shall be tested with RT-PCR between the 5th-10th day after they have have come in contact with any positive patients.

The minister urged all those who have entered India from UK after November 25 to voluntarily contact the local health authorities and cooperate with the special survey.

The latest initiative came two days after the state implemented a night curfew in all civic corporations, and on Wednesday, empowered all District Collectors to impose similar restrictions, if deemed necessary.