File photo: IGI Airport Photograph:( Zee News Network )
The passenger's throat and swab samples were sent to Pune laboratory to ascertain whether he was infected with the new mutant variant of the virus.
Amid rising concerns over the discovery of a new strain of coronavirus in the UK, seven passengers (5 in New Delhi and 2 in Kolkata) of two UK to India flights have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday.
"Five out of 266 passengers and crew members of a flight which arrived at Delhi airport from London last night have tested positive for COVID-19. Their samples have been sent to NCDC for research and they have been sent to the care centre," said a Nodal officer for COVID-19.
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"Two passengers from the UK were Found positive for COVID-19 after they arrived at the Kolkata airport here," health department officials said.
A flight carrying 222 passengers from the UK arrived at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport on Sunday night, they said.
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"Twenty-five passengers did not have COVID reports with them. So they were taken to a nearby quarantine centre, and their coronavirus tests were conducted. Two tested positive," the West Bengal Health and Family Welfare Department official said.
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According to COVID-19 protocols, all international passengers coming to India will have to remain in isolation for seven days.
Moreover, passengers coming from the UK through flights till Tuesday midnight would be tested for COVID-19 on arrival at airports "as a measure of abundant precaution", it added.
This comes as flight services from the UK to India have been suspended till December 31 over the spread of a new strain of coronavirus in London and England.
However, India has not yet detected the new strain of coronavirus that has spread to some parts of the UK. Virology experts who have been performing genome sequencing have confirmed saying that they have not come across this particular strain as of now.
Furthermore, scores of passengers arriving from the UK in Mumbai on Tuesday morning have been sent for institutional quarantine in the wake of the new virus strain.
On December 20, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had informed the public that a new variant of the COVID-19 virus has been found in the UK.
"Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, and the potential risk it poses, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned," he had tweeted.
(With inputs from agencies)