Tests under way to identify strain of positive case from UK: Officials | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: A person who returned to Bengaluru from the UK this week has tested positive for Covid-19, officials said, and genomic sequencing is being conducted to determine if the flyer contracted the new virus strain that spreads faster.
The person was among 197 passengers who took the last flight from the UK to the tech capital early on Monday. According to BBMP officials, 188 of them have been swabbed and the results of 25 are awaited.
British health experts have linked the new coronavirus variant to a surge in infections in that country. A number of countries, including India, have temporarily banned flights from the UK. “We are not sure of the virus strain in the positive case that has been detected among 197 passengers. Genomic testing is under way,” a senior civic official said.
BBMP is tracking all those who arrived from Britain in recent weeks. More than 200 passengers were supposed to travel on the last flight from there to Bengaluru, but finally, 197 flew, said a civic official, citing data provided by the Kempegowda International Airport. Of these, 188 entered the city, while the rest left for other states. BBMP collected samples of 163 passengers on Tuesday and 25 others on Wednesday. The results of the first batch arrived on Wednesday with one positive case.
“Lack of cooperation from people who have returned to the city is the biggest challenge for us,” a health official said.
Rajendra Cholan, special commissioner of health and IT, told TOI
that BBMP was late in taking precautionary steps, but things were under control now. “When the passengers entered the city, they were asked to undergo rapid antigen tests, which did not benefit us. Now, we are doing the RT-PCR test to rule out infection,” Cholan said. “Contact tracing of the lone positive case has been done. The contacts were family members, who are negative.”
Health teams faced some difficulty in tracking 25 flyers as they didn’t answer calls. “We coordinated with airport officials and obtained their addresses. Teams visited their homes and took samples for RT-PCR tests,” Cholan said.

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Sagar Biswas

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