A man who had recently returned from the United Kingdom and had tested positive for the Wuhan Coronavirus made an explosive revelation that many students who were on that flight with took paracetamol tablets before landing at Hyderabad airport to lower their body temperature to cheat the thermal screening at the airport being done to detect suspected coronavirus infected persons, says a report in the TOI.
Akhil Ennamsetty, 24, a student of LLM at the University of Edinburgh, who returned from London, tested positive for the virus. He took a connecting flight from Mumbai to Hyderabad, along with 10 other passengers on board, all of whom are now kept in quarantine after Ennamsetty was tested positive for the virus.
Ennamsetty claimed that many of those who had returned from London to Mumbai on his flight were students and had taken paracetamol tablets to lower their body temperature so that they are not sent to quarantine even if they are infected. “Most of my co-passengers in a flight from Heathrow were students from various universities in England. They took paracetamol tablets just an hour before the landing to avoid getting ‘caught’ in thermal screening done at the airport to isolate coronavirus infected passengers,” said Ennamsetty adding that at least 10 people he knew on the plane took paracetamol tablets before the plane landed.
Ennamsetty alerted the officials that those who were concealing their body temperatures to escape isolation and quarantine at the airport were putting in danger the society at large. He also claimed that the returnees brazenly lied about the symptoms of the virus in the self-declaration forms given on the airport to avoid getting quarantined upon arrival.
Akhil’s tale signifies how the inbound travellers from abroad who are masking their body temperatures to avoid detection at the airports are posing a grave danger for their relatives, friends and family, and the society as a whole. Experts believe that if the infection goes undetected, it won’t take much longer for the pandemic to evolve into third stage leading to large-scale community transmission as witnessed in Italy and Spain. India is currently at the second stage where persons coming in close contact of foreign returned infected persons are getting infected.
Ennamsetty took to Facebook to declare about his ailment. In a post on the popular social media website, Ennamsetty said that he is been admitted to the isolation ward at Gandhi Hospital after being found positive for the novel coronavirus. He also added that everyone in his chain of contacts has confirmed that they don’t have to be isolated and that he took utmost care of quarantining himself after returning from the United Kingdom.
He also said that many in the UK may have been exposed to the virus because of the earlier ‘herd immunity’ approach that they were following. “UK’s approach towards controlling this pandemic has been worrying. They wanted most of the population to get infected so as to gain immunity. Though this has a scientific base, it doesn’t seem very promising at this hour of a public emergency.”