COVID-19 Outbreak: Six flyers from UK test positive in Delhi, Chennai; samples will be checked for new virus strain

COVID-19 Outbreak: Six flyers from UK test positive in Delhi, Chennai; samples will be checked for new virus strain

COVID-19 Outbreak: Six flyers from UK test positive in Delhi, Chennai; samples will be checked for new virus strain

Six people who arrived in India from the United Kingdom have tested positive for coronavirus, media reports said. However, it is not presently clear if they have a highly infectious strain of the virus that has been widely reported in Britain.

The government has on Tuesday said that the fast-spreading strain of COVID-19 that was found in the UK has not been seen in India so far, as reported by NDTV.

The flight on which the passengers arrived in India landed around 11.30 pm on Monday.

"Five passengers were found COVID-positive at the Delhi airport. One passenger who took a connecting flight to Chennai was tested there and found positive," PTI quoted an official as saying.

"Their samples have been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for research and they have been sent to a care centre," a report in Mumbai Mirror quoted a nodal officer for COVID-19 as saying.

A second flight from London landed at 6 am on Tuesday. Tests on the passengers are underway, Dr Gauri Agarwal, founder of the Genestrings Diagnostic Center that is handling coronavirus testing at Delhi airport, told PTI.

“Of the approximately 100 tests completed so far, no positive found… We have two more flights scheduled for tonight," Agarwal said.

The government on Monday said all UK-India flights will be suspended from 23 December to 31 December in view of the emergence of a new coronavirus strain in that country.

It also said all passengers coming from UK on Monday and Tuesday would be compulsorily tested for coronavirus on arrival at airports.

This development comes on a day when India's COVID-19 active case load has fallen below 3 lakh, the lowest in 163 days. The active case load now comprises just 2.90 per cent of the total infections, the Union Health Ministry said.

The total active cases stand at 2,92,518. On 12 July, the active cases had last settled below three lakh at 2,92,258.

With inputs from PTI