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New coronavirus strain: Testing of flyers from UK underway at Delhi airport as five test positive

ANI | Updated: Dec 22, 2020 15:31 IST

By Ashoke Raj
New Delhi [India], December 22 (ANI): Five out of 266 passengers and crew members of the Air India flight that arrived at Delhi Airport from London (UK) last night have tested positive for COVID-19. Their samples have been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for research and they have been sent to the care centre.
More than 250 out of 470 flyers from the UK, which arrived in Delhi on Air India and British Airways flights, underwent RT-PCR test at the Delhi airport, others are yet to be tested for COVID-19 in view of new coronavirus strain found in the UK.

In light of the new COVID-19 strain found in the UK, said to be a super spreader with claims of it being 70 per cent more transmissible, the Indian government has temporarily suspended all passengers' flights to and from the UK.
The last two flights scheduled to arrive in Delhi before the given deadline of 23:59 hours on December 22 are hence ordered to undergo mandatory RTPCR tests at the airport by Genestrings lab.
"Genestrings lab was the first lab in the country to set up a lab at any International Airport and has been given this mandate has been mandated by the State Surveillance Unit, Govt of NCT Delhi to test all passengers arriving from that country in next 1 day. We have made sure that all our staff members at the airport from data entry to billing, everybody is wearing PPE kits, since we want to make sure that we break any chance of transmission of the virus in the country" said Chetan Kohli, COO, Genestrings Labs.
Given the uncertainty and fear around this new strain, both GMR DIAL and Genestrings are fully equipped to brace themselves and be on the forefront to ensure that the country does not face another wave of this deadly virus. The airport authority has not left any leaf unturned to ensure the safety of 470 plus passengers travelling in these flights. GMR DIAL has arranged a separate waiting lounge so that there is no scope of transmission is left.
All passengers and crew will be tested on arrival by Genestrings irrespective of exemptions and existing negative reports in view of this new virus strain. (ANI)