Woman who fled to Andhra Pradesh has UK strain
A woman who tested positive for Covid-19 at the New Delhi airport on her return from London, but gave the slip to the authorities in the national capital and travelled to Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district by train last week, potentially exposing her co-passengers to the virus, has been detected to be infected with the new strain of Sars-Cov-2.
State health commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar said on Tuesday that Mary Winfred Ann Parrie, a private school teacher in Rajahmundry, was afflicted with the new strain of the virus found in the UK, as confirmed by the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), which has done genome sequencing of her naso-pharyngeal swab samples.
The samples, collected by the authorities at the government hospital in Rajahmundry, were sent to the CCMB on Friday and the outcome of the test was declared on Monday.
Bhaskar said Parrie, currently in an isolation ward in the hospital, was asymptomatic.
Parrie, a resident of Ramakrishna Nagar in Rajahmundry and working in a private school, left for London a couple of months ago along with her husband and daughter after the lifting of the travel restrictions. She returned to India to see her son on the night of December 21.
Soon after landing, she was subject to testing for Covid-19 at the health centre in the New Delhi international airport. When she tested positive, airport authorities handed her over to Safdarjung Hospital for treatment.
Since she was asymptomatic, she was asked to be in quarantine for seven days. After getting her out-patient card slip done, Parrie quietly left the place.
On December 23, East Godavari district authorities received a communication from additional district magistrate of Delhi (north-east) Shubhankar Ghosh, stating that Parrie, along with her 22-years-old son Riyan, who came to receive her at the airport, might be travelling to Rajahmundry on the Andhra Pradesh Express.
“Since she is corona-positive, there is apprehension of transmission of the infection to other persons from her. As per the protocol, she has to be isolated in institutional quarantine,” Ghosh said in the letter, requesting the East Godavari district authorities to get her admitted to any institutional quarantine facility.
Health authorities went on high alert and informed both the railway police and local police officials. As soon as the train arrived in Rajahmundry railway station in the early hours of December 24, the police located Parrie and her son disembarking from a first-class compartment. The authorities made her and her son sport the PPE kits and drove them straight to the Rajahmundry government hospital.
In the morning, both Parrie and Riyan were subject to Covid-19 tests. “The mother was found positive and Riyan negative,” East Godavari district coordinator of medical and health department Dr Ramesh Kishore said.
The authorities admitted both mother and son in separate isolation wards in the hospital and started looking for passengers who may have come in contact with Parrie and her son during their travel from New Delhi to Rajahmundry .
Kishore said initially the authorities proposed to send her swab samples to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, but later sent themon Friday to CCMB, one of the designated centres to test samples for the new Sars-Cov-2 strain that is ravaging the UK.
The mother and son claim that they did not interact or come in touch with anyone on the train.