Even as the Health Department has been trying to track down over 38,000 international passengers who arrived from different parts of the world over the past several weeks, including the 2,805 who arrived from the UK, to check for the new variant of COVID, Corporation officials claimed that field staff are finding it difficult to track down all the passengers as many have moved out of the addresses they had given in their passports.
A Corporation official said field officials could only trace around 300 people till Wednesday out of the 1,304 who had come to the city either from the UK or through the country between Nov 25 and December 23. Of the 2,805, 226 and 207 people returned to Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram respectively. “We are tracing the travellers using details provided in the passports. However, a few might have changed house and moved to other areas.
Tracing them will take some time,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the arrival of a British Airways Cargo flight with nine passengers triggered fresh panic at the airport on Wednesday night. Speaking to reporters, Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said that all new crew members have been tested and quarantined. “We are waiting for their results. Even the cargo handlers and other airport staff who came in touch with the cargo are being monitored,” Radhakrishnan said.
Of the 2,805 passengers who arrived from the UK in the past four weeks, 996 have been traced so far and 511 samples have been sent for testing. At least 111 passengers who have moved to other districts upon arrival are being traced with the help of police and Health Department officials.
Three people who arrived from Delhi allegedly did not cooperate with public health authorities and they proceeded to their destinations claiming they tested negative. They were, however, subsequently traced and placed under isolation. If passengers prevent authorities from carrying out their duty, a complaint would be lodged against them with the police and action initiated, Radhakrishnan said. On Wednesday, five other people who had travel history to the UK were tested.