UK returnee tests positive for new Covid variant in TN

One UK returnee tests positive for new variant of coronavirus in Tamil Nadu: State govt

Representative image/Credit: PTI File Photo

One person who returned to Tamil Nadu from the UK has tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus, a top health department official said on Tuesday.

He has been isolated in a separate room in the King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research here while his co-passengers and other contacts have been tested and found negative for Covid-19, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said.

Read: 6 UK returnees test positive for new coronavirus strain in India; 3 from Bengaluru

"The Centre has confirmed one person from the state has been affected by the UK strain," he told reporters here. The person was being treated in a separate room in a separate wing at the institute on the directions of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, he added.

The Union Health Ministry earlier in the day said six people who returned to India from the UK have tested positive for the new mutated strain of coronavirus. Radhakrishnan said more than 2,200 people had arrived in Tamil Nadu from the UK after November 25 and all of them underwent RT-PCR tests.

As of Tuesday, 17 returnees have tested positive for Covid-19. As far as treatment and existing testing protocol, he said the Union Health Ministry has informed there was no requirement for any modification.

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"All those people including senior doctors, nurses are in separate wing. We have set up 120 specialised beds...", he said. Reiterating that there was no need for any panic because of the new strain, he said RT-PCR test was being done for all returnees from the UK.

Those found positive are being treated in separate rooms even though results of their genomic sequencing were awaited from the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

"Therefore, the chances of spread of the virus in Tamil Nadu is less", the official said.