25 asymptomatic, one positive among traced int’l travellers in Pune
The Pune district administration and civic authorities have been able to trace at least 25 passengers of the 544 who arrived from the UK in the past one month, as part of their surveillance. Of these 25 travellers, who are asymptomatic, one traced by the authorities tested positive during the re-test following which his samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology for genome sequencing to ascertain if the virus is the similar to the new strain, officials said.
The person, according to officials, had arrived in Pune on December 13 and tested positive as he went for RT-PCR test in the city. “The person is from Pune city and is asymptomatic. The person is currently undergoing quarantine period at home. We have sent his samples to NIV for genome sequencing,” said Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) assistant health chief, Dr Sanjeev Wavare
Extensive screening and tracing is going on for passengers who have travelled abroad over the last one month. These passengers are screened and tested in the wake of the new Covid-19 strain found in the United Kingdom (UK).
Bhagwan Pawar, district health officer, said that of these 504 passengers, the surveillance team has traced 25 people so far. “We are working day and night to trace the others and all those who have come in contact with these passengers as a precautionary measure. The rest of the passengers will be traced very soon,” said Pawar.
He further said that those who are found displaying any symptoms, will be quarantined immediately.
“We are tracing all the passengers. There are around 96 passengers from the Pune rural area. Rest are from the city. After the tracing is done, we will get to know how many exhibit symptoms and accordingly, testing will be done,” said Pawar.
Experts from the field opined that passengers who test positive should be retested with the TaqMan or TaqPath to confirm the new strain. Otherwise, their genomes sequencing should be done.
As per the central government standard operating procedure (SOP), the list of passenger manifest from international flights shall be conveyed by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) so that this data would be provided to the surveillance teams.
Central government has issued special guidelines for those passengers who arrived in the country before the SOP was issued and a list of all such passengers has been given to the respective states and city administrations for further action, like contact tracing and institutional quarantine.
There are no direct flights to the Pune airport from the UK. However, there maybe passengers who arrived at different airports from abroad and travelled to the city via railways or roadways.