BMC monitoring over 1000 UK returnees for new COVID-19 variant

More than 1000 UK returnees who arrived in Mumbai between November 25 and December 22, the BMC informed. 

BMC monitoring over 1000 UK returnees for new COVID-19 variant
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Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation informed that it has been monitoring more than 1000 people who arrived in Mumbai from the UK between November 25 and December 22. The increased vigilance is a result of the discovery of a new, more contiguous strain of COVID-19 which has led to a sharp increase in the number of infections in the UK. 

A civic official told PTI that of the 1,206 passengers that landed in Mumbai atleast 788 of them have been quarantined in the city. While the rest were sent to other states and as many as 32 passengers were exempted from the mandatory institutional quarantine.

A total of 14 flights from Europe, Middle-East landed on Thursday, the official said.

The BMC has cited the new COVID-19 strain asthe reason to compulsorily quarantine passengers from the UK, Europe and Middle Eastern countries for seven days after they land in Mumbai. Their stay may increase by another seven days if they test positive for COVID-19.

The civic body in Mumbai has prepared a list of individuals and the the residential locations and then divided them as per their local administrative wards.

The ward officials have been directed to contact the returnees, check their health, send a medical team if needed and also prescribe reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests if required. The positive samples will be sent to Pune’s National Institute of Virology for genome sequencing to identify the new strain.

Meanwhile, Africa's top public health body warned that another new variant of the coronavirus appears to have emerged in Nigeria, after different strains of the infectitious disease was reported from the United Kingdom and South Africa.

The discovery could add to new alarm in the pandemic after similar variants were announced in Britain and South Africa, leading to the swift return of international travel restrictions and other measures just as the world enters a major holiday season.

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