The district administration had till Friday collected samples of at least 191 travellers from the United Kingdom (UK), of the 438 who arrived in Gurugram after December 9, for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests to detect a new strain of Sars-Cov-2, which is said to spread faster.
The Central government had on December 21 banned all flights to and from the United Kingdom in light of discovery of the new strain of the virus. The Centre had later issued guidelines that mandated tracing of monitoring of all travellers who arrived in the country from November 25 and compulsory RT-PCR testing of everyone who arrived after December 9.
The district health department has also directed private labs to directly collect samples from homes when approached by any suspected case having a travel history to the UK.
The state health department on Thursday night received a comprehensive list of 695 travellers who arrived in Gurugram from the UK in the last four weeks. Of these, at least 438 travellers arrived after December 9 and over 257 people arrived between November 25 and December 8. Of the 438, the health department has to collect samples of 359. The health teams are also in the process of identifying those who arrived before December 9.Officials, however, did not share much information about it.
“After removing duplication from the list of 438, there are 407 travellers who are under monitoring,” said Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer. “Of these, 48 belong to other states or districts but had given a Gurugram address. Their names have been shared with the state government. Out of the remaining 359, seven are Nigerians who arrived as medical tourist and are currently undergoing treatment for an illness in a private hospital,” said Yadav.
Following the recent Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by the union ministry of health and family welfare, the district health department will have to monitor cases through calls or visits, and collect samples if they develop symptoms like cough, cold, fever or breathlessness for 28 days from the date of arrival from the UK.
Yadav also directed all private labs to collect samples from homes, if approached by anyone who has recently arrived from UK. “They are also told to share list of these cases to the health department every day. Besides, private labs will have to preserve one milliliter of all samples collected,” said Yadav. In case a person tests positive, additional sample can be sent for genome sequencing to CSIR – Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi