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New COVID-19 strain: 20 passengers from London test positive at 5 airports in 2 days

All passengers were travelling from London and landed at five airports in the country -- Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Amritsar. After arriving in India, they went through RT-PCR tests

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | December 23, 2020 | Updated 08:32 IST
New COVID-19 strain: 20 passengers from London test positive at 5 airports in 2 days
Municipal workers in personal protective equipment look on as passengers from United Kingdom arrive at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)

Around 20 air travellers and crew members coming from London's Heathrow airport have tested positive for coronavirus in India in the last two days. All passengers were travelling from London and landed at five airports in the country -- Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Amritsar. After arriving in India, they went through RT-PCR tests.

Their swab samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, to check if any one had been infected from a different virus strain -- the more virulent one detected recently in England.

So far, as per the reports by India Today TV, seven passengers and crew tested positive for COVID-19 at Amritsar international airport, five flyers and crew members tested positive at Delhi's IGI airport, two flyers were tested positive at Kolkata airport, and one at Chennai tested positive.

India has suspended all passenger flights connecting the United Kingdom from Wednesday, December 22 till December 31, or till further orders in the wake of the emergence of a mutated strain of the virus there.

As a result, the health ministry issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the passengers coming from the UK to undergo an RT-PCR test and be isolated in a separate unit of an institutional facility if found positive.

The last two flights scheduled to arrive on Wednesday at Delhi's IGI airport -- before the deadline of suspension -- were, hence, ordered to undergo a mandatory RT-PCR test at the airport.

None of the passengers, who came from the second of the two flights, has not been reported positive until now.

However, the five positive patients, who came from the first flight, have been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). There were around 470 passengers in both the flights.

Those found positive at the Amritsar airport were travelling from Air India's last flight on Tuesday. Two Air India passengers who landed at the Kolkata airport were also found positive, while four of the Air India passengers were also tested positive.

In Chennai, one passenger infected from coronavirus is asymptomatic and has been admitted to the National Institute of Ageing in Guindy.

Also read: Housing market in 2020: Home sales drop 47% in top 7 cities; new launches fall 46%

Also read: Air India offers free rescheduling of tickets for UK, Oman, Saudi Arabia

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