Ship captain tests Covid positive after return from UK

Ship captain tests Covid-19 positive after return from London, under isolation in Bareilly

After returning to India, the captain was found negative in an antigen test

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

A Merchant Navy captain, who returned from the US and the UK recently, has been put under isolation here after testing positive for Covid-19, officials said on Sunday.

Bareilly Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Vineet Shukla said the sample of the ship captain has been sent to CSIR laboratory in Delhi for testing for new Covid-19 strain B-117.

"Of the 18 people who have been traced to Bareilly after returning from abroad, only the ship captain tested positive," he said.

The CMO said the 23-year-old captain, a resident of Civil Lines in Bareilly, had gone to the US in November, and while returning from there, his ship docked in London for nearly three hours.

After returning to India, the captain was found negative in an antigen test. He stayed in quarantine in Delhi for seven days, Shukla said.

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Officials of the health department, however, said it does not have any information regarding the departure of the captain from India or his arrival in the country. They said the mobile phones of the captain and his wife were found switched off.

"On November 29, he came to Bareilly and spent some days with his family, and then went to Lucknow to attend a wedding. For the past 10 days, he has been staying in Bareilly with his family.

"Following directives of the government to send samples of people who have returned from abroad for testing, his sample was sent to IVRI (Indian Veterinary Research Institute), Bareilly. On Saturday late night, the captain tested positive for Covid-19. He is under isolation in the international traveller ward of 300-bed Covid-19 hospital," the CMO said.

Shukla said the captain's sample has been preserved at IVRI, and added that his wife had tested negative for Covid-19.

In-charge of district surveillance Dr Ranjan Gautam said, "Of the 18 people, whose samples were taken for testing, only the Merchant Navy captain tested positive, while reports of the remaining came out negative. Those who have been tested negative are under monitoring, so that their sample can be taken, if required."

The government has issued a stringent set of SOPs mandating RT-PCR tests at airports for each traveller from the UK and isolation in a separate unit of an institutional facility for positive cases in view of the new coronavirus strain. 

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