Over 1.5k UK returnees in Mumbai to be monitored for new Covid-19 variant
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is monitoring at least 1, 593 people, who have arrived in Mumbai between November 25 and December 22 from the UK, where a more contiguous strain of Covid-19 has been found. The civic body has prepared a list of the residential locations of these individuals and divided them as per their local administrative wards.
Ward officials have been directed to contact the returnees, check their health, send a medical team if needed and also prescribe reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests if required. The positive samples will be sent to Pune’s National Institute of Virology for genome sequencing to identify the new strain.
Suresh Kakani, BMC’s additional municipal commissioner (health), said, “So far, through screenings at the airport, we have found no Covid-19 symptomatic patients among the European and Middle Eastern passengers being quarantined at hotels. The UK returnees will be closely monitored and our teams have started following up with them. They will also have to go through Covid-19 tests if required.”
BMC on Monday cited the new strain and said passengers from the UK, Europe and Middle Eastern countries will compulsorily be quarantined for seven days after they land in Mumbai. Their stay may increase by another seven days if they test positive for Covid-19.