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Covid-19 Positive Woman Flees Delhi Quarantine on Return from UK, Takes Train to Andhra

A woman walks past a graffiti of people wearing protective masks amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, December 9, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

A woman walks past a graffiti of people wearing protective masks amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, December 9, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

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.

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 AP by train has been picked up from Rajamahendravaram and admitted to a hospital along with her son, officials said on Thursday

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 fleeing from a quarantine facility in New Delhi was apprehended by the Railway police and health authorities and admitted to a local hospital after Wednesday midnight.

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According to officials, the woman, however, told the authorities here that only home quarantine was recommended for her and as such she left New 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 New 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 AP 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 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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first published:December 24, 2020, 14:49 IST