Representational image. (HT PHOTO)
Representational image. (HT PHOTO)

Mumbai: 60 cases of new Covid strain detected so far, says civic body

Over 25,000 passengers have arrived in the city from the United Kingdom (UK), Middle East, Europe or South Africa in the last month.
By Mehul R Thakkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 01:03 PM IST

Sixty cases of the new Covid-19 strain have been detected in Mumbai since December 22, 2020, confirmed Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials.

According to BMC officials, of the 60 cases of the new Covid-19 strain, 30 are those who returned from the United Kingdom (UK) and rest are those who arrived from Middle East, Europe or South Africa.

BMC has been quarantining all those returning from the above -mentioned countries for seven days in hotels on arrival.

Post this, passengers undergo an RT-PCR Covid-19 test. If a person tests positive, (s)he is hospitalised and their sample sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) to ascertain if it is the new strain. On testing negative, passengers are advised to go home and quarantine for seven days. Over 25,000 passengers have arrived in the city from the above-mentioned countries in the last month.

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Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner of BMC, said, “The spread of new strain is not much in Mumbai as we have detected only 60 cases till now. Of these 60 cases, 30 are of those who returned from UK and remaining those who have returned from other countries.”

On why the detection of new Covid-19 strain could be low, Kakani said, “We cannot attribute the low detection to any particular reason but we are taking all precautions. Once a passenger from UK, Europe, Middle East or South Africa arrives at Mumbai airport, we screen them and quarantine them for seven days. Post this, testing is conducted.”

However, as all passengers are quarantined on their arrival, BMC officials said there is no question of tracing close contacts.

Kakani added, “The idea behind quarantining them on arrival is to not create close contacts. However, earlier, for five cases of the new strain we had traced close contacts as they arrived before we started quarantining incoming passengers in hotels. The process is the same,that of tracing close contacts, sanitising their houses and sealing buildings, if needed.”

On January 4, BMC had said that post detection of five cases of new Covid-19 strain in those who returned from the UK, it had traced 40 close contacts of these five positive patients, and all the 40 tested negative of Covid-19.

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