24 Dec 2020: Coronavirus-positive woman returns from UK, flees Delhi, reaches Andhra Pradesh
Defying the rules set by the Indian government, an Anglo-Indian woman traveled to Andhra Pradesh from Delhi, where she was to remain in an isolation center.
Her samples will be tested to see if she was infected with the new strain of coronavirus.
Background: Why is the Centre worried about the new strain?
Last week, a mutant strain of coronavirus emerged in the United Kingdom, ticking off an alarm in the nation. Though there isn't enough evidence to suggest vaccines won't work on this variant, nations are worried because it is 70% more infectious.
Anticipating that this strain might wreck all the gains made, the Centre has suspended flights to and from the UK till December 31.
SOPs: The government released SOPs for UK returnees as well
Besides suspending flights, the government has also released Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the passengers coming from the UK.
It was ordered that those who landed between December 21 and 23 have to be subjected to RT-PCR tests. If positive, a spike gene-based RT-PCR test has to be conducted on the samples.
Following the rules, the woman's samples were also taken and judged positive.
Series of events: Woman reached her hometown via a train
However, to the authorities' surprise, the woman ran from the isolation facility and reached her hometown Rajamahendravaram via a train.
"The woman escaped from the center and reached Rajamahendravaram, Andhra Pradesh, by a special train. After officials in Delhi received the report stating the woman tested COVID-19 positive, they informed the Andhra Pradesh health and the police department," officials told ANI.
Fact: Now, her samples have been sent to NIV, Pune
"She was traced on Wednesday night and shifted to isolation center in Rajamahendravaram. Her samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune to confirm whether she is suffering from the old or new strain of COVID-19, her report is awaited," officials added.
Details: She works as a teacher in the UK
Till now, no case has been registered against the woman, who works as a teacher in the UK, and her son, who went to Delhi to pick her up.
The officials in Rajamahendravaram were alerted by Railway Police about their arrival.
She reportedly told officials that home isolation was recommended to her and that she left Delhi on her own because she was asymptomatic.
Another incident: Another UK returnee went missing from Delhi Airport
Meanwhile, in yet another incident that shows people's careless behavior, a passenger, who returned from the UK, went missing from the Delhi Airport. He got himself admitted to the Fortis hospital in Ludhiana.
"He has now been sent to Delhi's LNJP hospital. Action to be taken against Fortis for not informing district administration," ADC (Dev), Ludhiana, was quoted by ANI.