New Delhi, Dec 31 (IANS) The Delhi government has directed four prominent private hospitals to establish isolation units for international passengers who have travelled from or transited through UK in the past four weeks and tested Covid positive, on payment basis with immediate effect.
These private hospitals are Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital in Saket, Batra Hospital and Research Centre in Tughlakabad Institutional Area, Fortis Super Speciality Hospital in Vasant Kunj and Sir Ganga Ram City Hospital.
"In order to create institutional isolation facility in the private sector for international passengers who have travelled from or transited through UK in the past four weeks, 25th November to 24th December and tested positive, authorities of following private hospitals are directed to establish separate (isolation) unit on payment basis with immediate effect," Dr. R.N. Das, Medical Superintendent of Nursing Homes, stated in an order dated December 30.
As many as 38 positive patients, who have travelled to Delhi from international locations, are admitted in the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan hospital. Out of those, four have been infected with the new coronavirus strain. Of the total positive patients, 17 are those who have returned from the UK recently, while remaining are their contacts.
Besides, the Delhi government has quarantined around 200 people, who either returned from the UK within a month or are in contact with those travellers found positive. Over 14,000 passengers have arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport since November 25, and of them, around 4,000 have been found to have residences in Delhi.
Earlier on Thursday, the Central government said that five more cases of mutant UK virus have been detected in the country, taking the total tally of such cases to 25 so far. Notably, the newly identified strain of the virus found in UK's population is up to 70 per cent more transmissible.
According to the Union Health Ministry's standard operating procedure, state governments have been asked to ensure that RT-PCR test is conducted on passengers travelling from or transiting through airports in UK and disembarking in India. Their samples must also be sent for genome sequencing, in case they test positive.
States have futher been directed to isolate passengers testing positive in an institutional isolation facility in an isolation unit coordinated by the respective state health authority. They have also been tasked to earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment.
Samples of all positive patients are to be compulsorily sent by the institutional isolation facility for genome testing to either National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune or any other appropriate lab for genomic sequencing.
If the report of the sequencing is consistent with the current coronavirus genome circulating in the country, the ongoing treatment protocol including home isolation and treatment at facility level will be given as per case severity. But, if the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of new variant, then the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit.
The presence of the new UK Variant has already been reported by Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.
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