UK woman returnee to AP tests positive for contagious variant of COVID-19

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Adds details Amaravati, Dec 29 (PTI): A 47-year-old woman, who returned to Rajamahendravaram in Andhra Pradesh on December 23, was found to have contracted the new mutated strain of coronavirus but the state health department maintained that there was no spread of the fresh strain in AP.

Of the 12 UK-returned passengers who tested positive for COVID-19, only the woman had the new strain, state Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar said, citing a report of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad.

'Her son tested negative while another person who came in contact with her also did not contract any virus,' Bhaskar said in a release.

The woman, who returned to India on December 21, managed to give the slip to authorities in New Delhi and reach AP by train but was picked up from Rajamahendravaram and admitted to a hospital along with her son.

Eight passengers who travelled by the same first AC coach on AP Express, as the UK-returned woman, from New Delhi to Visakhapatnam had tested negative for COVID-19.

Health authorities conducted RT-PCR tests on these passengers, including two children, upon their arrival in Visakhapatnam as they shared the coach in which the woman travelled after testing positive for coronavirus, though she was found to be asymptomatic.

The Health Commissioner said here on Tuesday that there was no trace of the new UK strain's spread in the state.

'We are constantly monitoring the situation and there is no need to panic.I appeal to people not to believe in rumours,' the Commissioner added.

Bhaskar said 1,423 peoople came to the state from the UK in recent days and 1,406 of them have been traced.

RT-PCR tests revealed that 12 had tested positive for COVID-19. Also, 12 out of 6,364 of the UK returnees primary contacts also tested positive for the infection.

'We have sent all these samples for genomic examination to the CCMB in Hyderabad.We are awaiting the results of 23 samples,' the Health Commissioner said. PTI DBV BN WELCOME DBV BN WELCOME