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Hyderabad: Nine more travellers from the United Kingdom who arrived in Telangana after December 9 have tested positive for Covid-19. With this, the total number of Covid-19 positive cases from among the 926 passengers who reached here from UK has gone up to 16.

The samples of these individuals were sent to Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) for genome sequencing to ascertain whether they are infected with the new strain of the coronavirus i.e. B 1.1.7 or with the conventional strain of Covid-19.

These travellers from UK who tested positive hail from different districts, according to Director of Public Health (DPH), Dr.G.Srinivasa Rao. Of them, four each were from Hyderabad and Medchal-Malkajgiri districts, two from Jagityal and one each from Mancherial, Nalgonda, Rangareddy, Sangareddy, Siddipet and Warangal Urban.

In order to implement tracing, testing and treating strategy, the surveillance teams also have identified 76 close contacts of the travellers who tested Covid positive.

The Covid positive patients are receiving treatment in exclusive health wards in government hospitals while their 76 close contacts are under institutional quarantine and their health is being closely monitored, Dr. Rao said.

“We have submitted samples of all the positive individuals to CCMB for genome sequencing. The results of the genetic tests will be available in two days,” he said.

So far, the health authorities have identified 1200 individuals who have reached TS from UK since December 9, and reached out to 926 travellers while efforts to track the rest were on.

The field level surveillance teams are taking up personal home visits to collect swab samples from UK travellers and authorities have urged general public to volunteer information on UK travellers to the call centre number 040-24651119 or WhatsApp to 9154170960.

“In the fight against Covid-19, we have done extremely well in minimising the number of infections and deaths in Telangana. Tracking, testing and treating all the UK returned travellers is important to ensure there is no new strain of the coronavirus here. We urge people to co-operate and call helpline numbers to share information,” Dr. Rao added.




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