550 UK returnees traced in Raj, 14 samples sent for mutant testing

A total of 550 UK returnees have been traced in Rajasthan so far, health officials said here on Wednesday.

Of these, the samples of 521 have been collected, 11 have been sent to Pune for further testing for the mutant virus and three more samples are being sent to Delhi on Wednesday, confirmed the officials.

Earlier, the figure of the UK returnees was confirmed as 821. However, it was found that there was duplication in the list furnished by the Centre and after removing all errors, the number of the UK returnees, who returned within a month, was found to be 550.

“The exact figure can’t be ascertained as people at the mentioned address are telling us that they never visited the UK or their relatives have not yet returned. Such errors are creating challenges for us,” the officials said.

“The sampling of 521 of them have been done. Eleven samples have been sent to Pune and three shall be sent to Delhi for further testing. The report is expected in three to four days. The remaining visitors had got their testing done after landing here and, hence their samples were not collected again,” said the officials.

They further said four zones have been created in the country to identify new strain. As per this arrangement, Rajasthan samples shall now be sent to Delhi on the directions of the ICMR.

Medical and health department secretary Siddharth Mahajan has been monitoring this arrangement, they said.

However, out of the 333 UK returnees reported in Jaipur, 12 remained untraced till Monday. It was then that the state police department was roped in and four people were traced on Tuesday morning, said Narottam Sharma, CMHO, Jaipur. The efforts to trace the remaining are continuing, said officials.

Rajasthan has been the victim of tourists spreading the virus. The first Covid-19 case in Rajasthan was an Italian tourist, who had come on a tour to India when his country was in the throes of the pandemic. This first case was reported on March 2, when a 69-year-old Italian tourist, who was part of a group of 23 tourists, tested positive for Covid-19.

Till Tuesday evening, the total positive numbers in the state was 3,06,784 while the death toll was 2,683. A total of 626 new cases were found on Tuesday.

Since the last many days, the daily corona numbers reported under 1,000, which till a few days back were going above 3,000-mark.