Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Coimbatore: Man who flew into city via London from Spain tests positive for Covid-19

Coimbatore: A 27-year-old man who flew into the city via London from Spain on December 26 has tested positive for Covid-19. He had a 10-hour layover at Heathrow Airport.

Since he is asymptomatic, he has been quarantined in a separate ward at ESI Hospital. On Wednesday, a fresh nasal swab was taken to confirm whether he has been infected by the new UK strain. The nasal swab has been sent to the state public health laboratory at Teynampet, Chennai.

The man, a navigation engineer by profession, flew from Gibraltar in Spain to Dubai via London on December 22. In London, he had a 10-hour layover at Heathrow airport. He stayed in Dubai for two days and flew to Mumbai on December 25 and from there reached Coimbatore on December 26.

“The nasal swab taken by us at the airport on December 26 returned positive on December 28. Since then, he has been admitted in a separate ward at ESI Hospital,” deputy director of public health G Ramesh Kumar said. “He is asymptomatic so far,” he added.

Officials immediately tested his three family members who stayed with him from December 26 to 28, but all tested negative. They are trying to trace the cab driver who drove him home from the airport. “The state government has asked us to send a fresh nasal swab to Chennai to confirm whether it is the new strain,” an official said.

The arrvial of this passenger points to loopholes in our system, despite banning flights from the UK. “They come to Dubai and book a fresh ticket to India and fly in. With so many stamps on some passports, it is hard to spot a recent UK stamp on it,” an official said.

30/12/20 Pratiksha Ramkumar/Times of India

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