Chennai: Within days of the United Kingdom reporting a new and vigorous strain of the novel coronavirus, a passenger, who had arrived from the country in Chennai via New Delhi, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Briefing about the case, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan on Tuesday told journalists that the patient’s samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune to identify the strain. “We are tracing all persons who possibly came in contact with this passengers. We are looking to trace those who were seated adjacent to him as well as three rows in front and three rows behind him,” he added.
The state has prepared a list of 1,088 passengers who travelled from the UK in the past week.
Radhakrishnan said that 15 passengers who arrived in Chennai on the same Delhi flight were now under institutional quarantine. The passenger, who tested positive, has been admitted at the Government Corona Hospital in Chennai.
The Health Secretary said the patient was stable. “It need not necessarily be the new strain of coronavirus,” he said adding that the samples were sent to the Pune institute for testing [as a matter of precaution].
The state would adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the Centre on this.
All those returning from abroad were already required to undergo RT-PCR tests at least 96 hours prior to their travel. Upon arrival, they are required to be under home quarantine in Tamil Nadu.