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UK returnee tests positive for COVID 19 in Jammu, sample sent to NCDC to verify variant genome

SRINAGAR:  Alarm bells have started ringing after a United Kingdom (UK) returnee tested positive for COVID 19 in Jammu.

Authorities have sent his samples to Delhi to check the COVID strain. More than 51 UK returnees have arrived in Jammu. Of whom one has tested positive.

“One UK returnee has tested positive. We have sent his samples to the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi, to check the strain.  We are awaiting the report. It may come tomorrow or the day after,” Satish Sharma, COVID 19 response coordinator for Jammu, told The Kashmir Monitor.

Sharma noted that the UK returnee had arrived in Jammu on December 12. “So far 51 returnees have arrived in Jammu. Of whom one has tested positive, but his strain is yet to be confirmed. He has been sent to medical isolation,” he said.

Dr Tasaduq Naik, COVID 19 response coordinator for Srinagar said no UK returnee has tested positive in the summer capital city. “Till date, no UK returnee tested positive in Srinagar,” 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.

Earlier, 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.

“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.

Official data accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that the recovery rate of the Covid-19 patients in Jammu and Kashmir has reached 95.8 percent on December 29.

Jammu and Kashmir has 120293 positive cases. Of whom 3157  are active positive and 115261 have recovered. The death toll has reached 1875. Of whom 692 have died in the Jammu division and 1183 in the Kashmir division.

Till December 29, 872900 persons have been enlisted for observation. They include 15697persons  in-home quarantine, 3157 in isolation, and 29925in-home surveillance. Besides, 822246 persons have completed their surveillance period.

To date, 3739623test results are available. Of which 3619330 samples have tested negative.