Man from UK tests Covid +ve in TN amid new strain scare

Amid new virus strain scare, passenger from UK tests Covid-19 positive in Chennai

The passenger, who was under institutional quarantine, was shifted to hospital care on Tuesday morning

A passenger, who returned here from Britain via New Delhi, tested positive for the novel coronavirus, amid concerns that a new strain of the Covid-19 virus is spreading more quickly in that country. 

The passenger, who was under institutional quarantine, was shifted to hospital care on Tuesday morning after his swab samples returned positive. The passenger, whose details are withheld, landed in Chennai from New Delhi last night and was tested for Covid-19. He reached New Delhi from Britain. 

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“One person who returned from the UK to Chennai via New Delhi has tested positive for coronavirus. The passenger was already under institutional quarantine as per rules. But once he tested positive, he was shifted to King's Institute for further treatment. All passengers who came from the UK are being monitored,” J Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary (Health), told reporters.

Seven more persons who returned from Britain have also been tested, officials said.  

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The government is also sending the swab samples of the passenger who tested positive to the National Institute of Virology, Pune for genomic analysis to find out whether he is infected with old or the new strain that has caused many scares across the globe. 

Radhakrishnan also asked people not to panic as the government has taken enough steps to ensure that there is no second wave of Coronavirus in the state.

“Whether it is the old strain or new strain will be known only after the genomic analysis. We appeal to the people not to panic and believe rumours being circulated on WhatsApp,” Radhakrishnan said. 

He also added that a direct flight from the UK was to land in Chennai on December 24, but with the latest restrictions imposed by India, the service will be cancelled. Radhakrishnan and other Health Department officials visited the Chennai Airport and saw for themselves the arrangements made to conduct tests