76 UK returnees have COVID-19, 11 of them carry new strain

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Mumbai, Jan 11 (PTI) As many as 3,519 travellers from the UK have undergone RT-PCR tests in Maharashtra so far, and 76 of them tested positive for COVID-19, including 11 who were found infected with the new coronavirus variant, said a state health department officer on Monday.

He said the authorities have traced 536 close contacts of the travellers who tested positive and 358 of them have already undergone tests, of which 31 were found positive for COVID-19.

After a new variant of COVID-19 was found in the UK late last year, the Maharashtra Government had directed authorities concerned to trace travellers who arrived in the state from Britain between November 25 and December 21, 2020.

According to the official, so far 4,869 travellers from the UK have been traced and of them 3,519 were put through RT-PCR tests.

He said, '76 out of 3,519 travellers subjected to RT- PCR tests were found positive for COVID-19.' Of the 76 patients, 31 were from Mumbai, 17 from Pune, nine from Nagpur, eight from Thane, two each from Nashik, Aurangabad, Raigad and Buldhana, and one each from Osmanabad, Nanded and Washim, he said.

Out of the 76 samples which were referred to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for genome sequencing, 11 were found infected with the new variant of COVID-19, he said.

The official said out of the 11 travellers who tested positive to the new variant, three each were from Mumbai and Pimpri-Chinchwad, two from Pune and one from Mira-Bhayander, while one each from Goa and Gujarat.

According to the official, all the 11 travellers were asymptomatic and two of them, one each from Pune and Mumbai, were discharged after their two consecutive samples tested negative for the infection. PTI KK RSY RSY