Two passengers from UK test positive for COVID-19 at Kolkata airport

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(Eds: Adds more inputs) Kolkata, Dec 22 (PTI) Two passengers from the UK were found positive for COVID-19 after they arrived at the airport here, health department officials said on Tuesday.

A flight carrying 222 passengers from the UK arrived at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport on Sunday night, they said.

'Twenty-five passengers did not have COVID reports with them. So they were taken to a nearby quarantine centre, and their coronavirus tests were conducted. Two of them tested positive,' a West Bengal Health and Family Welfare Department official said.

According to COVID-19 protocols, all international travellers coming to India will have to remain in isolation for seven days.

With help of the airline concerned and the Airports Authority of India, the health department is contacting those who were sitting near the two persons in the flight and requesting them to go for home isolation for two weeks, he said.

'Those who have tested negative for COVID-19 on arrival at the airport are being requested to report to the state health department immediately if they develop any symptom of the infection,' the official said.

Civil Aviation Ministry said on Monday that all passenger flights connecting to the UK will remain suspended from Wednesday till December 31 in the wake of the emergence of a mutated variant of coronavirus there.

Moreover, travellers coming from the UK through flights till Tuesday midnight would be tested for COVID-19 on arrival at airports 'as a measure of abundant precaution', it added.

Asked about the new variant of the virus, the state health department official said, 'We only know that the new COVID-19 strain is more contagious. We need details of clinical tests of those infected by this variant to talk on it.' West Bengal's COVID-19 tally rose to 5,38,343 on Monday as 1,515 more people tested positive for the infection, a health department bulletin said.

Forty-one more patients succumbed to the disease, pushing the state's coronavirus death toll to 9,401, it added.

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