Bhubaneswar: As six UK returnees have tested positive for the new strain of COVID-19 in India, the Odisha Government is making an all-out effort to identify people, who have returned to the state from Britain, get them tested and stop further transmission of the virus.
In first phase, 20 UK returnees were identified, of which three tested positive for COVID-19. In second phase, 50 to 60 more returnees have been identified so far, informed BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary.
“We have formed zone-wise teams to trace the returnees based on their phone numbers and addresses. However, many people have used their international contact numbers for ticket booking which is being a hurdle for us in tracing them,” he further added.
Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) Director CBK Mohanty said thousands of people are returning to India from Britain and many of them would have been infected with the new strain of COVID-19.
“The transmission capacity of the new strain of COVID-19 is 50-70 per cent higher that the old one. Hence, it will infect more number of persons. But, we can not ascertain if it will turn out to be a super spreader,” said Dr Mohanty.
The new strain has similar symptoms like fever, dry cough, loss of taste, diarrhea, headache, muscle pain and vomiting, he added.
On the other hand, Dr Niranjan Mishra, Director of Public Health, has requested all such returnees to come forward and cooperate with the state Government.
“Their is nothing for these returnees to worry about. We will study their genome sequence and are following the SOP issued by the Centre,” he added.