The Island reported that a 39-year-old mother and her six-year-old daughter, who arrived from China, tested positive at a Madurai airport.
The pair landed on December 27 after going through Sri Lanka, exhibited no serious symptoms, and have been quarantined. They are expected to stay in isolation for 15 days, and officials have also tested their family members for COVID-19.
Kalu Sivalingan, a local health official, said they are checking passengers’ lists and tracing the woman’s close contacts for further testing.
The discovery came on the same day hospitals across India conducted mock drills to test their resilience in light of potential COVID resurgence. According to India Express, the exercises would inspect bed availability, human resources, referral resources, testing capacity, medical logistics, telemedicine services, medical oxygen availability, and other aspects.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told ANI News, “Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi has asked us to be careful. The government is also preparing in case Covid cases increase. Today mock drills are conducted across covid hospitals in the country to make sure people get proper treatment.”
The drills were initiated on December 26 after four internal arrivals tested positive for COVID-19. ANI did not detail the cases but noted that the people came to attend the religious breaching of Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama.
India has been testing international travelers for COVID-19 sporadically since the outbreak in China began to heat up. On December 24, the country mandated reports of negative COVID testing from travelers from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand.
Sources from India’s Health Ministry have disclosed that they were expecting 40 crucial days ahead.
As The Hindu reported, one official said, “Previously, it has been noticed that a new wave of COVID-19 hits India around 30-35 days after it hits East Asia…. This has been a trend.”
India was one of the worst-hit countries during the first two waves of COVID-19. Global statistics show that millions were impacted, and the death toll climbed by over 530,000 cases.