BHOPAL: Around 500 people arrived in the state from the UK last month. The health department is not only maintaining a close vigil on them but also subjecting them to RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test for new strain of Covid-19 detected in Britain.
RT-PCR testing on arrival, separate isolation of positive passengers and institutional quarantine for their co-passengers has been put in place. The health department is focusing on all travellers but emphasis is on those who arrived a fortnight before December 22 midnight. Additional Director (Health) Dr Vina Sinha said, “Around 500 travellers who came from Britain in last one month are under scanner. Health department traced them after new strain was detected in Britain and was maintaining close vigil on them ever since. CMHOs have been instructed to conduct RT-PCR test and tackle the travellers as per union health ministry protocol.
Administration is collecting travel history of the last 14 days from travellers and is advising them to fill self declaration form. They would be subjected to RT-PCR test on arrival. In case of a positive sample, it is recommended that spike gene-based RT-PCR test be performed on them. If they test positive for the older variant of coronavirus, the ongoing treatment protocol would be followed, including home isolation or treatment at hospital, depending on the severity of the case.
However, if the presence of the new variant is detected, then the patient will have to remain in separate isolation unit with regular treatment protocol being followed. Another test shall be conducted on the 14th day and, in case the sample is found positive, further samples may be taken until two consecutive samples taken 24 hours apart test negative.
Sixty-four travellers from the UK arrived in Bhopal within a month of the discovery of new Covid strain. Twenty of them underwent RT-PCR test on Wednesday and results are expected by Friday. Administration is keeping a close vigil on people with travel history of Britain in last one month. ADM Ashish Vashitha said, "so far 64 such travellers have been identified in Bhopal. They are being subjected to RT -PCR tests."