14 UK Returnees in Karnataka, 8 in Kerala Test Positive for COVID

1,638 out of 2,500 UK returnees in Karnataka have been tested and 14 of them been found positive for COVID-19.

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Passengers arrive to take a flight at the Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, during the ongoing COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, in Mumbai, Monday, 25 Dec.
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As many as 14 passengers who have returned from the UK since November 25 have tested COVID positive so far in Karnataka, state Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Saturday. Meanwhile, eight people, who returned from UK recently, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kerala.

A total of 1,638 out of 2,500 UK returnees in Karnataka have been tested and 14 of them been found positive for COVID-19. Their swab samples have been sent for gene sequencing to find out whether it is the new strain of the virus, ANI cited Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar as saying.

According to him, details relating to this variant are still being deliberated over, and according to initial studies, another strain of this virus discovered in South Africa is far more severe than the variant found in the UK.

“I appeal to the people to have faith in the government, before taking any decision we think hundred times. Protecting the health of the people is our chief concern,” he said.

‘2,500 People Came to the State From UK’

The minister had recently said that nearly 2,500 people came to the state from the UK between 25 November and 22 December in flights operated by Air India and British Airways, and efforts were on to trace and monitor their health and subject them to tests.

Responding to criticism against the government, the minister observed that this is the very government that has achieved a recovery rate of 97.5 percent, and brought down the fatality rate to 1.22 percent.

"After the new variant was discovered, countries like Britain and Germany have adopted stringent measures like ordering lockdown and latter enforcing a curfew. What does this indicate?" he asked.

Sudhakar added that the decision to enforce curfew after 11 pm was taken keeping in mind the public interest so as to ensure that normal life is not affected. “When almost all our festivals this year were celebrated in a subdued manner, why is this outrage against this night curfew as though it is necessary for youngsters to have fun or party during the new year," he said while cautioning the opposition and indicating that they will be responsible if anything went wrong.

The state government had announced an eight-day night curfew, but withdrew it on Thursday, hours before it was supposed to be imposed.

Several ministers in the cabinet reportedly opposed the decision of enforcing a night curfew while the Opposition expressed apprehensions on whether it would help in containing the spread of the virus, considering the curfew was between 11 pm and 5 am.

8 UK Returnees Positive in Kerala

Eight people, who returned from UK recently, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kerala. Their samples have been sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune for further examination to ascertain if it's the mutated strain of the virus, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja according to an ANI report.

According to Shailaja, a research conducted by the health department in Kozhikode shows a slight change in the strain of the virus. To be sure, they are conducting this research in all districts of Kerala. This strain is reportedly not like the one found in UK.

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