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Bengaluru doctor contracts new Covid-19 variant without international travel | Latest India News


Karnataka health department officials and members of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) have not been able to ascertain how one of the two people who tested positive for Omicron became infected with the new variant of Coronavirus. Unlike the other person who had traveled from South Africa where the variant was first discovered, this local resident has no history of international travel, confirmed State Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar.

According to the chronology provided by the BBMP, the first case of Omicron reported in Karnataka was that of a 66-year-old South African man who arrived in Bengaluru on November 20th. He tested positive for the virus the same day and he was isolated. BBMP reports read that none of its 24 primary contacts and 240 secondary contacts tested positive for the virus. BBMP commissioner Gaurav Gupta told HT that the second patient had no contact with the South African national.

The second patient report states that he is 44 years old, a resident of Bengaluru and worked as a health worker. Health Minister Sudhakar further confirmed that he was a doctor working with a private hospital in the city. He had a fever and body aches on November 21 and came out positive the next day. Since he had a low CT value (indicating a high viral load), his sample was sent for genomic sequencing.

Asked how the patient got the new variant without traveling abroad or without having contact with the South African citizen, the health minister said: The patient must have come in contact with someone with a travel history. We are still tracking it. BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta declined to comment on the issue.

The government has also confirmed that the patient was in isolation at home from 22 to 24 November and on 25 November he was transferred to hospital. However, he was fired on November 27th.

The second patient had 13 primary contacts and 205 secondary contacts. Of these, three primary contacts and two secondary contacts were positive with Covid-19. They are currently in a state hospital and are not showing severe symptoms.

A senior health department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the department or the BBMP have no information on the source of the variant. We believe the answer to this question can be found in contact tracking, he said.

However, KV Thrilok Chandra, special commissioner, BBMP (health) told HT that none of the five doctor contacts have a travel history. So far we do not know how the new variant came about, Chandra said.

A member of the Karnataka Technical Advisory Committee said it is possible the variant must have entered the state before the restrictions were imposed. It is conjecture at this point and it would be difficult to give a definitive answer. Since all patients and their contacts have no travel history, we can also assume that the variant must have arrived early. But there is no need to panic. There is no evidence to suggest that this variant is lethal. So we need to focus on treating this variant, said the doctor who did not want to be mentioned.




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