Invalid address, wrong phone numbers: Mystery shrouds the missing fliers from UK
New Delhi, Dec 30: Scores of people who returned from the United Kingdom are either missing and are not cooperating with the health authorities.
Officials fear that some of them could be infected with the new mutant strain of SARS CoV-2 in the UK.
However these missing cases has turned out to be a major headache as the fear of the infected persons spreading it is very high.
In many cases there has been a let up at the start itself. One of the primary reasons for the tracing process taking this long is because of many returnees have given incomplete addresses and mobile numbers. In many cases, fliers have submitted their UK numbers. Officials say that they have tried contacting them on these numbers as well as made WhatsApp calls. These have elicited no response and officials have learnt that they have been using a different number in India.
It was also found that many have mentioned localities in their addresses, but not the blocks, apartment number, house number or lanes. Many had mentioned the hotel details and in many cases, the individuals had already left for the UK in a return flight.
The mandatory testing has been taking place for the new strain only for arrivals after December 7.
Those who arrived between November 25 and December 6 are being placed under surveillance as of now, an official tells OneIndia. The Indian government had suspended flights from the United Kingdom from December 23 onwards, with all passengers who came to the country on December 21 and December 22 being made to undergo mandatory RT-PCR tests.
Many persons are missing from Karnataka and Telangana, the two states where the maximum number of passengers from the UK returned since November last week. Close to 3,500 persons from Punjab who returned from the UK are missing. However state government officials said that many have been are yet to be traced.
Of the 2,406 who returned to Karnataka, 570 are yet to be traced, according to Karnataka Medical Education Minister, Dr. K Sudhakar. The police have been pressed into service, he said while also adding that the phones of most returnees have been switched off.
In Telangana, officials said of 1,100 UK returnees to the state, 279 are not traceable. In Tamil Nadu, where one person has tested positive for the new strain of COVID-19, officials said that they have managed to trace almost all 2,200 people who came from the UK to TN from December 1. Health secretary J Radhakrishnan said that they have given the details of a few who could not be traced.
In Odisha, of the 181 who came back between November 30 and December 21, there are 27 who are missing. Dr. Niranjan Mishra, Director Public Health said that some of them gave only their phone numbers or vague addresses.
In Uttarakhand, of the 227 who returned in the past month, 20 are yet to be traced. However in states like Chattisgarh and Jharkhand all have been traced and tested. In UP, 568 are yet to be traced after 1,655 arrived from the UK since December 9.