A woman from Andhra Pradesh, who landed at Delhi's IGI airport, set alarm bells ringing after she tested positive for coronavirus and then disappeared from the airport without informing anyone.
The woman came from the UK, where the new variant of coronavirus strain has been detected. It is unclear whether the Andhra woman was tested positive for older or new strain but officials said they cannot afford to take any risk.
According to a report in Times of India, the woman is from Rajahmundry and she returned to India on December 21.
As per the union health ministry, officials are supposed to mandatorily take swab samples of every flyer who especially came from the UK, and must isolate the passenger or crew member in a separate unit of an institutional facility if found positive.
Likewise, officials took the swab samples of the Andhra woman at Indira Gandhi International airport on December 21. Before her test results came in, she left the airport and boarded the New Delhi-Visakhapatnam special train. Besides, she switched off her mobile phone.
Thereafter, the health officials lodged a complaint with Rajahmundry police station after the woman's family told them she boarded the train.
The officials told the daily the woman's behaviour was dangerous as she could come in contact with numerous people in her nearly 1,800 km journey. The family told the police the woman would reach Rajahmundry by the early hours of Thursday. Railway officials have been informed.
So far, at least 20 air passengers and crew members landed in India from London have tested positive for coronavirus days before flights got suspended. The officials have sent swab samples to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, to check if anyone had been infected from a different virus strain.
A new strain of coronavirus is 'out of control' in the UK, which is reportedly up to 70 per cent more infectious. Consequently, over 40 countries have banned travel from the UK. India also temporarily suspended flights from UK between December 22 and December 31.