Two passengers tested positive for Covid-19 at Kolkata airport on Sunday, officials said on Tuesday. According to sources, the state health department was immediately informed and all protocols were followed.
The state health department is conducting genome sequencing of the two passengers to determine if they have been infected by the more transmissible new strain of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the coronavirus disease.
“It will take at least one week’s time to confirm if they have been infected with the new strain of coronavirus. The samples are being sent for genome sequencing,” a senior health official told The Indiain Express.
According to officials, the government has decided to conduct genome sequencing for all Covid-positive passengers from the UK from Monday to determine if they have been infected by the new strain.
As per the health department, if the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit. While necessary treatment as per the existing protocol will be given, the patient shall be tested on 14th day, after having tested positive in the initial test.
“People have to keep it in mind that Covid-19 (pandemic) is still there, so all social distancing protocols related to Covid-19 like washing hands, avoiding public places, keeping distance from people, proper sanitisation of surfaces should be in place and maintained strictly,” added another official.”
On Sunday, 222 passengers from the UK arrived in Kolkata, 25 passengers of them underwent tests on arrival at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport while others were carrying test reports already.
“Out of 25, two passengers were found to be Covid positive,” said a health department official. They were taken to a quarantine centre. Airport sources revealed that the two flew on an Air India direct flight from London to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport.
Since October 22, a total of 342 passengers have undergone Covid tests on arrival at Kolkata airport. Till date, six of them have tested positive.
On Monday, India suspended all scheduled passenger flights to and from the UK between December 23 and 31.
According to officials, all international passengers arriving in India will have to remain in isolation for seven days.
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