A COVID-19 positive woman who allegedly managed to give the slip to authorities in Delhi after her arrival from the UK recently and reach Andhra Pradesh by train has been traced to Rajamahendravaram and admitted to a hospital along with her son, officials said today.
Their swab samples are being sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune to determine whether she contracted the new strain of COVID-19, detected in the United Kingdom, a Health department official said.
The country is on a high alert following the detection of the new virulent, “out of control” strain of coronavirus in the UK and has initiated various measures including rigorous testing of those who had arrived from England recently.
The woman, who reached her hometown Rajamahendravaram in Andhra Pradesh after allegedly running away from a quarantine facility in Delhi was held by the Railway police and health authorities and admitted to a local hospital after Wednesday midnight.
According to officials, the woman, however, told the authorities in Amaravati that only home quarantine was recommended for her and as such she left Delhi on her own as she was asymptomatic.
Her son, who went to the national capital to pick her up, was also admitted in the hospital and both have been kept in isolated rooms.
The woman who was working as a teacher in the UK, returned to India on December 21 and landed in Delhi.
She tested positive for COVID-19 and kept in a quarantine facility there. However, she allegedly escaped from there and, accompanied by her son, took the Andhra Pradesh Express to Rajamahendravaram.
Alerted by Delhi police, the Railway police discovered she was travelling by the first class coach in AP Express and the information was passed on to the authorities in Rajamahendravaram.
As the mother and son reached the city around midnight on Wednesday, the waiting health authorities took them away to hospital following the protocols.
No case has been registered against them, officials said.
East Godavari District Coordinator of Health Services T Ramesh Kishore said that the woman was asymptomatic but they collected fresh samples to check if the new coronavirus strain has infected her.
“We are sending the samples to NIV, Pune for tests and in the meantime keeping the woman and her son in isolation,” he told news agency PTI over the phone.
There was no official word yet on the woman’s fellow passengers on AP Express.
This was the first instance of a person returning from the UK to AP after the new coronavirus strain was detected and fresh protocols have been put in place to screen such travellers.
The Civil Aviation Ministry had on Monday suspended all flights connecting India and the UK from December 23 to December 31 after the discovery of the new strain of the deadly virus.
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