No mutated coronavirus strain found in UK returnees : Odisha govt

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 31 (PTI) Odisha government Thursday said that no mutated strain of coronavirus was found in any of the returnees from the United Kingdom or their immediate contacts, an official said.

A total swab samples of six returnees were sent to Pune and Delhi for genome sequencing and no report confirmed the existence of the UK strain, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare P K Mohapatra.

A total of 188 people have returned to Odisha from the UK, of whom 179 have been traced by the State Health & Family Welfare Department. Seven of them have so far tested positive for COVID-19, he said.

Of the detected seven coronavirus positive cases, four had come from the UK and the rest had come in contact with them, the additional chief secretary said.

The mutated strain of SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in any of the samples from Odisha, Mohapatra said.

Sources said that a total 204 UK returnees and their contacts have undergone RT-PCR test to detect any incidence of coronavirus. The health department is trying to reach others who are still untraceable.

Niranjan Mishra, the director of public health department, said that initially the state had received a list of 188 UK returnees and after verification it was found that there was duplication of seven names. Hence, at present the state has 179 returnees.

Meanwhile, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has informed that 62 returnees are from the city. Out of them two returnees are still untraceable.

BMC commissioner P C Chaudhary said that three of the 62 returnees in city have tested positive for the contagion.

The process to locate the remaining two UK returnees is underway. The civic body is taking all possible measures to contain the COVID-19 spread, Chaudhary said. PTI AAM KK KK KK