Bengaluru: Health authorities in Karnataka were able to trace five of the 10 passengers who came from South Africa and went missing after arrival in Bengaluru from South Africa. Efforts are on to trace the other five.
“Between November 28 and December 1, 23 people arrived from South Africa,” a senior BBMP health official said. “Eighteen have been tracked and tested and found negative, while five are still missing”. Asked why there was a delay in tracking travellers, KV Trilok Chandra, special commissioner, health, BBMP, said, “Many have provided international mobile numbers making it very difficult to reach out to them. Many others have switched off their phones. Those who have been traced are spread across three localities, but all of them are in strict home isolation.”
Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar warned that passengers who switch off their mobile phones after arriving from high-risk nations would be booked under the Disaster Management and Epidemics Act.
Meanwhile, reports indicated that a private lab in Bengaluru gave a fake Covid-19 negative certificate to the South African who managed to escape to Dubai on November 27. The police have booked a case against the lab and also the Shangri La hotel which allowed a quarantined patient to escape.
The BBMP (civic authority) has started tracking all arrivals from countries categorised as ‘at risk’ in the wake of the threat posed by Omicron.
Meanwhile, the Bengaluru-based doctor who was the second patient detected with the Omicron variant reportedly recovered well. The anaesthesiologist’s primary contacts — his wife, an ophthalmologist, their daughter and another doctor who is also an ophthalmologist — had contracted Covid-19 as well, and they are also recovering well, according to sources in the Health Department.
The doctor is now under isolation and observation at the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru. His wife and daughter are also being treated there. An entire floor of the designated hospital has been reserved for the treatment of people infected with the Omicron variant, as well as suspected cases. Presently, six persons are being treated and kept under observation here.
In a Covid-related development, Tumakuru reported another cluster with 23 students of the Nanjappa Institute of Nursing Sciences testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
All students had returned from Kerala recently and were posted in the hospital and Nanjappa Life Care hospital. Outpatient departments of both the hospitals have been shut and Covid-19 tests are being conducted on all the staff and doctors of the two hospitals.