HYDERABAD: Authorities in Telangana are gearing up to tackle the threat from the mutant UK variant of Covid-19 after a 49-year-old man from Warangal tested positive for it following the analysis at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.
The man, who had returned from UK in the second week of December, has been kept in an isolation ward away from other Covid-19 patients.
Hours after the initial results of genome sequencing results by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) labs was announced by the Centre, authorities in Telangana drew up an action plan to keep patients suspected of being infected with the UK strain in a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
While Covid-19 patients are currently kept in seven days quarantine and considered recovered if there are no symptoms thereafter, in case of patients suspected to be infected with the UK strain a test will be repeated after 14 days of quarantine, officials said.
“The ones suspected to have the new variant of the virus are not allowed home isolation. They are to be kept in the hospital under strict medical supervision and separate from the regular Covid-19 patients,” said a senior official from the state health department.
All foreign returnees who tested positive have been asked to identify their primary, secondary and tertiary contacts. These include family members, friends and anyone else they might have met. “Other departments such as police, revenue and municipal corporation will be roped in for the purpose,” an official said.
“Also, it has been decided that if there is a spike in the number of cases of the new variant, containment zones will be set up,” another official said.