After a week-long war operation that mobilized a team of 40, the UK tracked down the unknown traveler who was tested for infection with the P.1 variant of the coronavirus, known as the ‘variant Brazilian ”.
The British government had detected P.1 in the sequencing of six people tested, but one of them had not completed the identification form. Health officials feared the risk of this potentially more contagious variant spreading to the anonymous passenger.
The government only had the barcode for the test and the day and time it was processed, in a Cambridge lab.
Based on this information, they traced the reverse path of the samples received, finding out which center it came from. Trackers started with a universe of 10,000 families, then narrowed down to 379, who began to be contacted one by one.
He also issued a request that all residents who had been tested for the coronavirus on February 12 and 13 come to the information center.
Last Wednesday (3), the traveler responded to the request and reported his barcode, which so far corresponded to the anonymous test.
The traveler, whose name has not been released, lives in south London and returned from Brazil last month. “The best proof is that he stayed home and that there was no contagion from other people,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Friday.
The hitherto mysterious passenger arrived in the UK ahead of the mandatory supervised quarantine in hotels, put in place on February 15. Under the new rule, people from 33 countries, including Brazil, must stay ten days in those places and take two coronavirus tests.