Mumbai civic body seeks info on UK, West Asia returnees amid concerns about new virus strain

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has asked its ward officers, private hospitals, and societies to inform the civic body if they find any returnees from the UK and West Asia. The request comes amid concerns about the spread of the new and more contagious Covid-19 strain found in the UK.

Civic officials are closely monitoring the UK, West Asia returnees and their close contacts. Special arrangements have been made for Covid-19 positive patients among them at a hospital in Marol.

As many as 1,200 of 2,600 passengers, who have returned from the UK and West Asia to Mumbai from November 25 and December 28, have been tested.

Also Read: UK virus strain in India: 14 more test positive, 20 cases so far

“Many passengers are not coming forward to reveal their travel history or their close contacts. So, we are also trying to trace them through local bodies. Thus, ward officers, hospitals, and societies are being instructed to inform us if they know anyone who has returned from the UK and the Middle East [West Asia] post-November 25,” said BMC’s additional commissioner, Suresh Kakani. He added six of the 12 passengers, who were found to be Covid-19 positive, have since tested negative. Kankani said all the returnees will be retested.

The BMC has sent the samples of the returnees to Pune’s National Institute of Virology for genome sequencing.

Mangala Gomare, BMC’s executive health officer, said the state government has provided them the details of the returnees to Mumbai and added officials are following up on their health through telephone.


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