New COVID-19 Strain Fear Looms Over Odisha After Maharashtra Returnee Tests Positive

Bhubaneswar: A 34-year-old man of Odisha’s Balasore district tested positive for COVID-19 a day after returning from Maharashtra on February 20.

With two new variants of the virus having been detected in the western Indian state, the Odisha government acted swiftly and sent his sample for genome sequencing.

“We are expecting the report and other epidemiological and clinical information in the next couple of days,” Director, Public Health, Niranjan Mishra was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.

No new strain of COVID-19 has so far been detected in Odisha.

The government has also started contract tracing of the man and contacting his co-passengers on the bus.

Meanwhile, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has deployed two teams to screen and test passengers arriving at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in the Odisha capital. They will be working in two shifts of  7 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 9 pm.

The focus will be on passengers arriving from Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, which have witnessed an upsurge in new cases.

Passengers with symptoms have been asked to go for voluntary testing. They will undergo RT-PCR test.

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