<br>"So far, from among all UK returnees in the past few days, 30 have tested positive for Covid-19. There's nobody detected so far with the new strain," Maharashtra Surveillance Officer, Epidemiology Department (ED) Dr. Pradip Awate told IANS.
However, assured that the state has not let its guard down and all Covid-19 protocols and guidelines are being implemented stringently across the state, besides people being advised to follow all do's and don'ts scrupulously.
"There's absolutely no cause for worry although the new strain of virus is said to spread rapidly. All must follow the relevant SOPs of the government," said Dr. Awate in a cautionary note.
Heading the critical ED in the state which compiles the daily Covid-19 data from all the 36 districts and 27 municipal corporation authorities, Dr. Awate is usually the first who learns of the state's Covid-19 status, the infection rate, deaths or discharges.
As far as Mumbai is concerned, where most flights in the state from the UK and Middle-East land, till Sunday (December 27) a total of 17 flights were monitored with 1,469 passengers.
Of these 762 passengers have been quarantined in Mumbai, 700 arrivals sent to other states, and seben travellers were exempted from quarantine as per rules, said a civic official, declining to be identified.
"We have an elaborate system in place to detect people who are either coming from the UK or Middle East, or who may be coming from some other country but have travelled to the UK or Middle East in the past one month. All their details are available with us and there's no cause for any panic," said the official.
Since December 23, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has already ordered an extensive survey of all people who have returned from the UK-Middle East after November 25.
They include all travelers who have flown in from these two regions to Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur international airports, with comprehensive measures to detect if any are Covid-19 positive, with the necessary followup measures for a month even if they test negative.
Maharashtra remains the cradle of the coronavirus with a total of 19,22,048 cases recorded since March 9 and 49,305 deaths till date.
Pune district is the country's top Covid-19 hotbed with a total 3,70,962 cases and 7,726 deaths, followed by the other hotspots like Mumbai district with 2,91,471 cases and 11,088 fatalities, and Thane district with 2,53,308 cases and 5,556 deaths till date.
Nagpur comes next with 1,24,278 infections and 3,194 deaths besides Nashik with 1,14,416 cases and 1,886 fatalities till now.
In terms of deaths, the list is led by Mumbai with Pune, Thane, Nagpur and Nashik in tow, but with respect of the total cases recorded till date, the list is topped by Pune and followed by Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur and Nashik.
The state has also notched an impressive 94.04 per cent recovery rate and a 2.57 per cent mortality (death) rate, with the number of 'active cases' standing at 57,159.