13 more die of Covid, 959 found positive in UP: Official

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Lucknow, Dec 27 (PTI) With 13 more people succumbing to coronavirus infection in Uttar Pradesh, the Covid-19 death toll rose to 8,306 on Sunday in the state.

The number of total cases touched 5,81,980 with 959 more people found positive for the infection, an Uttar Pradesh government statement said.

Of the 13 COVID-19 deaths, three were reported from Lucknow and two from Varanasi.

Of the 959 fresh cases, 199 were reported from Lucknow.

In the past 24 hours, 1,391 Covid-19 patients recovered from the viral disease and were discharged, the statement added.

So far, 5,58,303 Covid-19 patents have been cured and discharged in the state, with the number of active Covid-19 cases standing at 15,371 in the state, the statement said.

In the last 24 hours, over 1.42 lakh samples were tested for Covid-19, taking the total number of tests in the state to 2.33 crore, it said.

Meanwhile, a Merchant Navy captain, who returned his home in Bareilly after visiting the US and the UK, has been put under isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, officials said on Sunday.

Bareilly Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Vineet Shukla said the sample of the ship captain has been sent to the CSIR laboratory in Delhi for testing for new strain B-117 of coronavirus.

'Of the 18 people who have been traced to Bareilly after returning from abroad, only the ship captain tested positive,' he said.

The CMO said the 23-year-old captain, a resident of Civil Lines in Bareilly, had gone to the US in November and while returning from there, his ship docked in London for nearly three hours.

After returning to India, the captain was found negative in an antigen test, said Shukla, adding he stayed in quarantine in Delhi for seven days.

The district state Health Department officials, however, said it does not have any information regarding the departure of the captain from India or his arrival in the country. They said the mobile phones of the captain and his wife were found switched off.

'On November 29, he came to Bareilly and spent some days with his family, and then went to Lucknow to attend a wedding. For the past 10 days, he has been staying in Bareilly with his family,” the CMO said.

'Following government directives to send samples of people who have returned from abroad for testing, his sample was sent to IVRI (Indian Veterinary Research Institute), Bareilly. The captain tested positive for COVID-19 on late Saturday night,” CMO Shukla said.

“He is under isolation in the international traveller ward of 300-bed COVID-19 hospital,' the CMO added.

The captain's sample has been preserved at IVRI, the CM said, adding that his wife has tested negative for Covid-19.

Bareilly’s Covid-19 surveillance in-charge, Dr Ranjan Gautam said, 'Of the 18 people, whose samples were taken for testing, only the Merchant Navy captain tested positive, while reports of the remaining came out negative. Those who have been tested negative are under monitoring so that their sample can be taken if required.' The government has issued a stringent set of SOPs mandating RT-PCR tests at airports for each traveller from the UK and isolation in a separate unit of an institutional facility for positive cases in view of the new coronavirus strain. PTI NAV/CORR RAX RAX RAX