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In a sudden spurt in coronavirus cases in the State, eight more COVID-19 positive cases were reported by the Telangana Health and Family Welfare Department on Wednesday. This takes the total number of cases in Telangana to 13.

The eight new cases include seven people from Indonesia. The eighth case, unrelated to the seven Indonesians, is a 22-year-old man who returned to Hyderabad from Scotland in the early hours of March 16.

The seven Indonesians who tested positive for COVID-19 were are part of a 10-member team who travelled from New Delhi to Ramagundem on AP Sampark Kranti Express (Train No. 12708) on March 13 and reached Ramagundem in the early hours of March 14. A total of 82 people travelled in the non-air conditioned sleeper coach including the Indonesians.

The first Indonesian who tested positive was a 58-year-old man. His test results were confirmed on Tuesday.

Informed Railway sources said that the 58-year-old man already had flu symptoms when he boarded the rain, which worsened after he reached Karimnagar by road from Ramagundem.

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender said the 10-member team stayed in a Karimnagar mosque for two days. The 58-year-old man along with others were isolated at government hospital on Monday and their samples were collected for tests.

Around 11 p.m on Wednesday, the State Director of Public Health and Family Welfare Dr G Srinivas Rao issued a special bulletin stating that seven more COVID-19 positive cases were reported in Telangana. All the seven patients are Indonesians.

The Health department did not announce the results of two more Indonesians who were part of the team.

The Health Minister said that officials have identified passengers in the coach who had travelled more than 1,400 km with the Indonesians. The health staff is tracking people from Telangana and they will be isolated or quarantined soon.

“We have identified the people who had food with the Indonesians. The district Collector and Police Commissioner had a meeting with Health department officials. They are taking measures according to the protocol,” said Mr Rajender

Earlier in the day, a 22-year-old man who returned to Hyderabad from Scotland, the UK, on March 16 tested positive for the virus. He spent the entire day at home with three family members and developed cough, fever the next day. The youth got admitted to Gandhi Hospital on Tuesday. Apart from the three family members, he came in contact with another person. The State Health staff are trying to find all people he came in contact with.

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