Mumbai, Jan. Jan 4 (IANS) The Maharashtra health department went into a tizzy as 8 passengers who recently returned from the UK were found infected with the new strain of Covid, officials said here on Monday.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope made the grim announcement: "8 passengers returned from UK have been found positive for the new strain of Covid. 5 are from Mumbai and 2 from Thane and 1 from Pune."
The minister added that the process of contact tracing of these patients is underway, besides implementing new protocols for their treatment even as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray conducted a review meeting of the current scenario.
On his part, Thackeray met with the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner I. S. Chahal and other health department officials, and directed them to be more vigilant in view of the latest situation.
The 8 cases with the new strain were detected out of 43 UK-returnees who tested Covid-19 positive in the past over 6 weeks, Tope said.
The development came a day after Mumbai recorded just 3 Covid-19 deaths - the first since March 20 - even as the state swung into preparations for a massive Corona vaccination drive.
In a positive development, the number of 'active cases' (ill patients) plunged below the 50K mark to 48,801 in the state, besides a notching a recovery rate of 94.88 per cent and a fatality rate of 2.55 per cent.
With 29 fatalities from only 7 out of the 36 districts recorded for the day, the state death toll has reached 49,695 and by adding 2,765 new patients, the total Covid-19 cases touched 19,47,011 till date.
The government in tune with the Centre's guidelines has already implemented stringent protocols for all passengers from UK, Middle East and certain other countries in a bid to avoid the new Covid strain carriers.