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After UK returnee tests positive, Tripura to buy device to check for new Covid strain

One of five Tripura passengers who recently flew in from the UK, the man tested positive for Covid-19 on his arrival four days ago. He was advised to go into home quarantine and so were his family members.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Updated: December 30, 2020 4:55:13 pm
Four Kerala MLAs test positive for COVID-19 after attending current session of AssemblyFour MLAs in Kerala have tested positive for COVID-19 after participating in the ongoing session of the Assembly. (File photo)

After a Tripura returnee from the UK tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the state government has decided to purchase a sequencing machine to check for the new Covid strain, Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath has said.

One of five Tripura passengers who recently flew in from the UK, the man tested positive for Covid-19 on his arrival four days ago. He was advised to go into home quarantine and so were his family members.

However, his samples could not confirm if he is suffering from original Covid-19 or the mutated strain from the UK.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the law minister said the health department has started the process of procuring a sequencing machine and it would be installed in state capital Agartala. Till the equipment arrives, samples of all suspected cases are being sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for tests.

Tripura, like all other states, has mandated RT-PCR tests for all international passengers, including those travelling from the UK.

The minister also said that as part of precautions taken to contain spread of coronavirus in Tripura, the Panchayati Raj Training Institute (PRTI) women’s hostel has been notified as an institutional quarantine centre for anyone afflicted with the mutated Covid strain.

As per latest reports, 3,317 international passengers returning to India were recently found to be infected with Covid. As many as 114 of them arrived from the UK, including the one from Tripura.

The state, on its part, has set up eight vaccine stores at all the eight district headquarters in addition to a state vaccine store at Agartala. It has also put together 145 cold-chain points for coordinating distribution of vaccines, once made available. Training of personnel, who are to be involved in vaccination process, started two days back.

However, the state is yet to receive Ice-Lined Refrigerators (IRL) for storing vaccines.

According to the state’s Covid control room, a total 33,246 people have tested positive for the coronavirus till date, with the fatality rate at 1.15% and the recovery rate at 98.46%.

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