Covid-positive UK-returnee travels to Andhra by train

UK-returnee who tests Covid-19 positive dodges authorities; takes 28-hour train from Delhi to Andhra

The woman, who reached her hometown Rajahmundry in Andhra after allegedly fleeing a quarantine facility in Delhi was apprehended by the Railway police

Representative Image. Credit: AFP

A UK-returned 47-year-old woman, who tested Covid-19 positive upon her arrival at the New Delhi airport on Monday, took a train journey of about 28 hours to reach Rajahmundry on Wednesday late night.

As fears of a mutant Coronavirus strain's spread from the European nation worry the public, the news of Mary Winfred Ann Parrie's such return has caused hullabaloo in the town spread along the River Godavari bank.

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The escapade of Parrie, an Anglo Indian has also jolted the Andhra Pradesh health machinery taking comfort in the drastically fallen daily new Covid-19 cases in the state.

Parrie, who was working as a teacher in a private school in Rajahmundry (Rajamahendravaram), visited the UK recently, as the family reportedly plans to move there. Her husband is in the UK. Her 22-year-old son went to Delhi and accompanied her back on the New Delhi-Visakhapatnam train.

“She is stable and continues to be asymptomatic, while her son has tested negative,” Dr Ramesh Kishore, coordinator, East Godavari district hospital services told DH.

Parrie is presently kept in isolation at a government health facility in Rajahmundry, and provided care, vitamin tablets.

The Delhi airport's RT-PCR test, and three types of tests conducted at Rajahmundry - Truenat, Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR tests - have all confirmed her to be Covid-19 positive.

“Analysis at the National Institute of Virology, Pune/Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad would reveal the strain of virus she is infected with,” Dr Kishore said.

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It is still not clear as to how Parrie managed to board a train from New Delhi when there are strict government guidelines advised for the UK returnees. Flights from the UK also stand cancelled till December 31.

“We are verifying her claims that she was asked by the Delhi hospital authorities to be under home isolation,” the official said.

On Wednesday, Andhra government was alerted by officials in Delhi about her journey but Parrie could not be contacted as her phone was switched off. Health officials waiting for her at the Rajahmundry station shifted her directly to a health facility.

“One good aspect is that they travelled in an AC first-class coach so the contact with rest of passengers would be minimal,” Dr Kishore said.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh health minister AKK Srinivas has appealed the public not to panic as no case of new Covid-19 strain has been confirmed yet in the state.