In the wake of rising cases of the new mutated strain of COVID-19 in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday has urged the Central government to quarantine passengers who return from the United Kingdom (UK) directly from the airports on landing. This comes after many passengers have been reported to land in others states and then travel to Maharashtra, increasing the risk of spreading the new coronavirus strain, which is said to be 70% more transmissible than the original one.
"Passengers arriving in Mumbai directly from the UK are sent from the airport for institutional separation as per the rules. Over the last few days, it has been observed that passengers arrive in Maharashtra after landing at airports in other states. So it is not possible to track them down. The Central government should quarantine those who have travelled from abroad directly from those airports," said the Chief Minister.
Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope, member of the state's COVID-19 task force Dr Shashank Joshi, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and others. In the meeting, Thackeray reviewed preparations for the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the state and also directed the agencies to be more vigilant against the symptoms of new mutated strain of COVID-19.
The Chief Minister, after reviewing the preparations for vaccination, asked the agencies to be prepared for any adverse effects. "A task force-like mechanism should be set up to guide the treating doctors. Also, that vaccinations should be done only in health institutions," Uddhav added.
Meanwhile, a total of eight passengers who returned from the United Kingdom (UK) in Maharashtra have tested positive for the new mutated strain of COVID-19, said Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday. Out of the eight positive patients, five are from Mumbai and one each from Pune, Thane and Mira Bhayandar.
"Eight passengers from Maharashtra who returned from the UK were found to have symptoms of the new coronavirus strain, including five from Mumbai, one each from Pune, Thane and Mira Bhayandar. All of them are in segregation and their contact tracing is underway," tweeted Tope.
Besides, the total number of people infected in India with the new strain of COVID-19, which was earlier found in the UK, has risen to 38, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Monday.