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New Covid strain: All six UK returnees test negative in Kashmir, allowed to go home

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SRINAGAR:  All six United Kingdom (UK) returnees have tested negative for COVID 19 in both Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) and Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, PK Pole told The Kashmir Monitor that the people arriving from foreign countries are being tested for COVID 19 at Srinagar airport.


“Six people had arrived from the UK a day before and they were tested for Covid at the airport. Both RAT and RTCPR tests were conducted and their reports came back negative. They have been allowed to go home,” he said.

 A new mutation called VUI 2020 12/01 is circulating in the UK and its transmission has been faster than expected in the last few weeks.  Given the severity of infection, the UK government has extended the lockdown. India has also suspended flights to and from the UK to prevent the spread of infection in the country.

“All foreign returnees are being tested at the airport. There is a possibility that some foreign returnees may have traveled to the UK some time ago. Or some travelers may have traveled with UK returnees. We can’t take any chance. Therefore, all are being tested at the airport. Both RAT and RTPCR tests are conducted. When they test negative for both, they are allowed to go home,” said Pole.

All foreigner returnees are being sent to paid COVID center in Srinagar till their RTCPR reports come back. “Normally RTPCR test takes a day. RAT gives you a report in just five minutes. Till the RTPCR report comes back, the passenger is shifted to a hotel. Once he or she tests negative in RTPCR and RAT, they are allowed to go home,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir has 119628 positive cases. Of whom 3414  are active positive and 114353 have recovered. The death toll has reached 1861. Of whom 686 have died in the Jammu division and 1175 in the Kashmir division.

Till December 25, 861964 persons have been enlisted for observation. They include 17687persons in home quarantine, 3414 in isolation, and 27858 in home surveillance. Besides, 811144 persons have completed their surveillance period.

To date, 3667726 tests have been conducted. Of which 3548090 samples have tested negative.