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Four UK passengers test positive for Covid-19 at Ahmedabad airport

The remaining 271 passengers have been advised to be in home quarantine for the next fortnight.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | December 22, 2020 11:17:20 pm
Passengers coming out of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport were seen wearing air masks in Ahmedabad. (Express photo Javed Raja)

Four passengers who arrived from London at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport in Ahmedabad on Tuesday tested positive for Covid-19 and have been admitted to hospital.

The passengers were on Air India flight AI 1172 that ferried 275 passengers from the United Kingdom and landed at Ahmedabad at 10.30 am. All flight operations from UK have been suspended by the central government from Wednesday till December 31, after a new strain of coronavirus was detected there.

An Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) health official confirmed that all four have been admitted to SVP Hospital run by the civic body. The official added that genomic sequencing will be done of the sample of the four patients to see “if it is the usual strain or the new mutant strain detected in the UK.”

The new strain, which is seemingly more contagious, is suspected to be a result of multiple mutations in the spike protein of the virus. Of the four who tested positive at the airport after RT-PCR test, one is a British national of Indian origin.

The remaining 271 passengers have been advised to be in home quarantine for the next fortnight.

An official of the Adani Group, which manages the SVPI airport, said, “We have been following standard operating procedures (SOPs) decided by the Union government regarding the pandemic till now. On the new coronavirus variant, we are awaiting new SOPs from the state or union government… Today, as the UK flight landed at SVPI airport, RT-PCR tests were conducted for all 275 passengers and we ensured that they were provided water, snacks and seating arrangements…”

Ahmedabad reported 209 new cases and five deaths on Tuesday due to Covid-19 even as Gujarat has been reporting a decline of fewer than 1,000 cases a day. As many as 988 cases were reported on Tuesday, similar to the cases in the first week of November. Another 1,200 patients were discharged.

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