Swab sample of woman returnee from UK sent to Pune for new strain test

Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh Government on Thursday denied reports that a woman had fled a quarantine centre in New Delhi after testing positive for new variant of Coronavirus following her arrival from the United Kingdom.

The reports had stated that after fleeing the quarantine centre, she boarded a train from Delhi to Visakhapatnam along with her son on December 21.

Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas, Minister for Health, told reporters that she had been tested positive in antigen and RT-PCR test for COVID-19 conducted at the Delhi International Airport. “She is stable and asymptomatic whereas her son, 22, who travelled with her from Delhi, is tested negative,” he said ruling out that she had any sign of new variant of Coronavirus found in the United Kingdom. In the tests conducted at Rajahmundry, the test results were the same.

Her swab sample was sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. The result is expected in two days. NIV is a premier virus research centre under the control of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

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On arrival at Rajahmundry in first-class coach of AP Special Express train in the early hours of Thursday, she was taken in 108 ambulance to an isolated ward at Government District Hospital at Rajahmundry.

She is an Anglo-Indian and identified as Mary Winfred Ann. She and her husband reportedly went to the UK in search of teaching jobs.

AP has so far recorded 8.8 lakh positive cases with 7,085 deaths.

Dr G.S.V. Gowreswara Rao, East Godavari District Medical and Health Officer told siasat.com that for clinical confirmation the sample had been sent to Pune as India’s only facility to examine new Coronavirus strain, which spreads very fast, is available there.

He said if the woman had a new variant, her son would have been infected with it immediately.

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According to officials, soon after landing in Delhi Airport from the UK, she was referred to an isolation facility at Safdarjung Hospital. She took the train to Rajahmundry, travel by 27 hours on December 21 and reached the destination in the early hours of Thursday after doctors advised her home isolation. There was no other passenger in the coach which she and her son boarded, the officials said.

The Minister claimed that the State had taken timely measures as per instructions given by Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Chief Minister, to keep the Covid pandemic situation under check. He said not a single case of a new variant of virus detected in the UK had been found in Andhra Pradesh till date and appealed to the people not to panic.

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