Kolkata: Two passengers who arrived in Kolkata from the UK on Sunday, where the new strain of COVID-19 has spread across the nation, have tested positive for the highly-infectious disease at the airport, said Kolkata airport official on December 22.
As per ANI update, it is not yet mentioned if the variant of the novel coronavirus was found in the travellers but it came just a day after India imposed restrictions on flights returning from the UK amid fears over the spread of COVID-19 variant which is already prevailing in Britain and South Africa.
Another passenger who had returned from the UK tested positive for COVID-19 in Chennai who had travelled to the city via New Delhi. This passenger’s sample was reportedly sent to the Pune Virology Lab to identify whether the patient is infected by the new variant.
The two cases at Kolkata airport and one in Chennai were reported on Tuesday after India on December 21 restricted flights from and to the UK between December 23 and 31 as a pre-emptive action against the new strain of the COVID-19 virus which could spread significantly faster than the existing version due to mutations.
Moreover, the passengers arriving from the UK on all international flights before the suspension deadline are being mandatorily tested for Coronavirus on arrival at the Indian airports. The Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said, “Those found positive on arrival will be sent for institutional quarantine set up by State/UT governments. Those found negative will be advised to isolate at home for 7 days and will be medically monitored by the States/UTs.”