Hyderabad, Nine more returnees from the UK to Telangana have tested positive for Covid-19, taking the total number of infected flyers to 16, a top health official said on Friday.
Positive samples of the 16 infected persons have been sent to Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) for genome sequencing to check for the presence of the new variant. Their reports are expected in couple of days.
Director of Public Health Dr G. Srinivas Rao said those found infected were kept in special wards in different hospitals.
The health authorities also traced 76 contacts of those tested positive. They have been quarantined and their health condition is being monitored closely.
The Health Department is on a high alert in the wake of impact of new coronavirus variant in some countries. It is adopting tracing, testing and treatment method to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to officials, 1,200 people came to Telangana from the UK since December 9. Of them, 926 were identified and Covid tests were conducted on them.
Out of 16 people who tested positive, four each are from Hyderabad and Medchal Malkajgiri. Two from Jagtial district were also found infected. One individual each from Mancherial, Nalgonda, Rangareddy, Sangareddy, Siddipet and Warangal Urban districts also tested positive.
The department has requested all those who have came directly to the state from UK after December 9 or have traveled through UK to provide their details by calling on 040-24651119 or by texting on WhatsApp to 9154170960. Staff from the Health Department will visit their homes for a health check-up.
"Telangana state has taken all measures in the fight against coronavirus so far. With government's initiatives and co-operation of people, we could control the spread of the virus and number of fatalities. People need not get panicked about the new variant, but stay alert and take all safety measures like use of mask, following physical distancing and hand hygiene like they have been doing for all these months," the director said. (IANS)