Mumbai: As many as eight returnees to Maharashtra from the UK were found infected with the new Covid-19 variant detected in that country last week. Of these, five are from Mumbai and there is one each from Pune, Thane and Mira-Bhayandar. Health officials said the treatment protocol for them is different and they have been isolated from the other Covid-19 patients.
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the contact tracing of these patients was under way. "Asymptomatic patients have been advised a strict, 14-day quarantine while those with compromised immunity, such as (people with) diabetes and high blood pressure, among others, 21 days of quarantine,” he said.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said two of the five who had tested positive last week with the new corona strain, had now tested negative and are quarantined at Seven Hills Hospital, Marol. “All five passengers tested positive for corona last week, following which they were isolated in separate wards prepared for them. We sent their samples to the National Institute of Virology to check for the new strain of SARS-CoV-2, for which we received the results today (Monday). However, the reports of two passengers are negative now, while the other three are still positive but stable,” he said. The BMC is also planning to construct jumbo facilities for the UK returnees who cannot afford to quarantine in hotels.
The government has decided to treat patients with symptoms till they get cured. “We need to strictly follow Covid-19-appropriate behaviour such as frequently washing hands, use of masks and avoiding crowded places,” Tope added.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the health department and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to be vigilant, after eight passengers arriving from the UK were found infected with the new variant of coronavirus. The CM has said that he will urge the Centre to segregate international arrivals through other states.
Thackeray said that passengers arriving in Mumbai directly from the UK were being sent to institutional quarantine, as per the rules. “Over the last few days, it has been observed that passengers have been arriving in Maharashtra by landing in airports in other states. So, it is not possible to track them down. The Central Government will be requested to allow segregation of passengers and quarantining those who have landed via other states,’’ he added.
The CM also reviewed preparations for vaccination and asked the authorities to be prepared for treatment, in case those inoculated suffered any adverse effects. He asked the administration to set up a task force-like entity to guide the doctors who would be in attendance. He also suggested that vaccinations be done only in health institutions.