Gzb health team struggles with 35 from UK: 30 wrong addresses, 5 refuse test

Thirty travellers from the United Kingdom (UK) had given wrong addresses, while five others refused to give their samples for Covid-19 testing, said Ghaziabad chief medical officer (CMO).

A new variant of the virus, VUI-202012/01, was detected in the UK earlier this month that was found to be highly transmissible. The state government in its standard operating procedure (SOP) had directed directed that those who have arrived from that country between November 23 and December 8 had to be in 28-day isolation and tested using the RT-PCR method if they showed symptoms. Those who came later would need to be tested mandatorily.

Health department officials said that they had a list of 231 confirmed travellers who mentioned Ghaziabad as their destination address, but 76 of them were not found as they had either left for their home districts or even returned to the UK.

“Of the 231, people our teams traced 221 out of which samples of 110 have been collected so far while samples of 111 are pending. Of the 110 samples tested, we have received 26 test reports and all were negative. Of the 111, 76 travellers will be cross-notified to their home districts. With the pending 35 we have major issue as five of these were found at home and have outrightly denied giving any samples. The addresses of other 30 could not be traced as they are wrong,” said Dr NK Gupta, CMO.

The department had initially received a list of 334 travellers who had a Ghaziabad address.

“Of the 334, there was double entry of 103 names. So, after removing them, we got the list of 231. Now, we are left with no option but to give the names of 35 persons to the police who will intervene and will also track people whose addresses could not be found,” Dr Gupta, added.

The UP government has already laid down set of SOPs and have laid special emphasis on tracking of those travellers who have returned from UK on December 9 or thereafter.

As per the SOP, such people will mandatorily get tests done through the RT-PCR method and will stay in home quarantine. Once their tests turn positive, they will be isolated in facility and a part of their sample will also be sent for genome sequencing to figure out if they are infected with prevalent variant of Sars-Cov-2 or the latest variant, VUI-202012/01.

The health department has already come up with separate isolation wards at Sanjay Nagar and Santosh Medical hospitals while the private hospitals have also been asked to come up with a separate facility isolation ward for travellers whose RT-PCR test indicates positive result.

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