Karnataka health minister, K. Sudhakar on Monday said that the Home department and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are trying to trace 75 passengers who returned from UK after the new strain of coronavirus was detected two weeks ago.
Sudhakar told that he was in touch with the concerned authorities tracking the 75 UK returnees who have been missing since the campaign to detect, trace and treat was launched 10 days ago.
"The matter needs meticulous investigation and they [Home Dept. and BBMP authorities] need more time. The returnees need to understand we (the government) are trying to help," he explained.
Locating 72 returnees among the 75 has been difficult since they gave their overseas contact number said the minister. The rest submitted addresses of their country of origin.
"We have approached immigration authorities and they have assisted us in every way possible. Most of the details furnished by missing passengers are incomplete. We are trying our best to locate them," he said.
The minister claimed that only 10 are infected with a new variant virus so far in the state. "It is not big number given the number of people who disembarked in the last one month," he said.
He added that so far, the total number of Covid positive among UK returnees reached 48, and of these 34 are those who returned from the UK, while 14 are their primary or secondary contacts who tested Covid-19 positive. Only ten among them were infected with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
"All ten are undergoing treatment and are without any serious health complications. They will recover soon," said the Health Minister.
Their swab samples are sent to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans) for carrying out genome sequencing tests.
As many as 5068 passengers alighted in India from the UK and 4238 passengers landed in Bengaluru from December 9 to December 31. Among those landed, 810 are from other states. “Karnataka health and home departments took steps to inform their counterparts concerned of those states,” the minister had stated on Friday.
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)