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Opinion

Bihar health department seeks police help to locate missing UK returnees to control new Covid-19 strain

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Bihar’s health department has sought police help in locating some “missing” returnees from the UK for testing for the new strain of coronavirus.

The decision to seek police help was made after state health officials were unable to track 45 passengers, who could not be reached at the contact numbers and addresses provided through the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). In some cases, they left their destinations and returned or traveled to other locations, health officials said.

The Civil Aviation Ministry (MoCA) had sent a list of 226 passengers, along with their mobile phone numbers, who arrived in the state between November 21 and December 21. Of the total inbound passengers, 101 of the 181 passengers tracked as of December 30 had taken the test. negative for the virus, according to Khalid Arshad, administrative officer of the State Health Society, Bihar (SHSB).

Around 97 passengers are from Patna, five from Rohtas, seven from Aurangabad, three from Buxar and one from Kaimur, among others.

Of the 17 passengers who went to Gaya, two could not be located, while one had gone to Sweden, two to Jamshedpur and one to Ranchi. Ten others tested negative and a test report was pending, said Dr. KK Rai, a civil surgeon from Gaya.

“We have hinted to the Jharkhand government about the UK returnees in Jamshedpur and Ranchi. We have asked the Gaya Superintendent of Police (SSP) to help us locate two others in the district who are not responding to our phone calls, ”said Dr. Rai.

Nineteen of the 97 returnees from the UK to Patna are untraceable, while another 25 were reported to be outside Bihar. Samples from 19 of the 53 collected tested negative as of Saturday, while others are pending, authorities said.

“Our officials found it difficult to track down some passengers who had moved from the address provided to us, prompting us to seek police assistance in locating them and being able to collect their polymerase chain reaction swab samples on time. real (RT-PCR), confirmatory test for Covid-19. We are writing to the SSP in Patna about it, ”said Dr. Vibha Kumari Singh, a civil surgeon from Patna.

However, SSP Upendra Sharma of Patna said he was not aware of such a list.

“The list has not reached me yet; may be in transit. We were initially helping (health officials) track the contacts of Covid-19 patients. If necessary, we will try to help locate returnees from the UK, ”said Sharma.

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