At least 15 returnees from the United Kingdom, who arrived in Gurugram in the last two weeks, cannot be traced by the district health department due to incorrect contact details furnished by them. Additionally, seven travellers have refused to get themselves tested for Covid-19. A senior official said that legal action will be taken against such people for not following the government rules and for failing to help the government to identify people who might be infected with new strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The list of the untraceable travellers has been already shared with the Gurugram Police, according to the health department as they have to administer Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test. Until Saturday, out of 411 travelers who arrived in Gurugram after December 9, at least 288 have given their samples for testing.
Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer(CMO), said, “In compliance with the government guidelines, we have to test every traveller who arrived from the UK in the last two months. Presently, 15 people are untraceable due to incorrect addresses or mobile numbers, which are not reachable. The list has been shared with the commissioner of police Gurugram to trace the people.”
He said, at least seven travellers are reluctant to get themselves tested. “Our teams are constantly trying to motivate them but they have refused to give their samples for testing,” said Yadav, who issued a press statement on Saturday, asking UK returnees to come forward for testing. It said that despite several efforts some returnees are not getting themselves tested. If they continue to do so,action will be taken against them against Section 188 of IPC for not complying with the government rules.
K K Rao, commissioner of police, Gurugram, said, “The investigation will begin once we receive the list from the health department. We will trace the UK returnees by reaching out to the embassy for correct contact details.”
Yadav said that the immediate contacts of such travellers should also quarantine themselves. Following the recent standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the union ministry of health and family welfare, the district health department will have to monitor cases through calls or visits, and collect samples if they develop symptoms like cough, cold, fever or breathlessness for 28 days from the date of arrival from the UK.
On Thursday night, the health department received a list of 695 travellers who arrived in Gurugram from the UK from November 25 onwards. Out of these, 411 people have to be administered with the RT-PCR test. Of the 411, at least 256 have given their samples to the district health department and 32 to private labs. About 101 travellers moved back to other states or cities and their names have been provided to the state governments. Yadav has already directed private labs to collect samples from homes, if approached by any UK returnee and preserve additional sample in case a person is tested positive, for genome sequencing.