Contacts of two South African nationals test -ve for Covid: Karnataka minister

Two travellers from South Africa tested positive for Covid-19 in Bengaluru and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing to determine the variant. Officials said they tested positive for Covid during the RT-PCR tests conducted at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).
Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar on Monday had said the sample of one of the South African nationals, who tested positive for Covid-19, is ‘different from the Delta variant. (Agencies)
Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar on Monday had said the sample of one of the South African nationals, who tested positive for Covid-19, is ‘different from the Delta variant. (Agencies)
Published on Dec 01, 2021 12:59 AM IST
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By, Bengaluru

The primary and secondary contacts of the two South African nationals who tested positive for the Covid-19 have tested negative, Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar said on Tuesday.

Sudhakar on Monday had said the sample of one of the South African nationals, who tested positive for Covid-19, is ‘different from the Delta variant’. Refusing to further divulge details, the minister said that he is in touch with the Union health ministry and the Indian Council for Medical Research officials.

Two travellers from South Africa tested positive for Covid-19 in Bengaluru and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing to determine the variant. Officials said they tested positive for Covid during the RT-PCR tests conducted at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). The first passenger arrived in Bengaluru on November 11 and the second arrived on November 20. Both were in quarantine after the positive result.

“We have sent the samples for further genome sequencing and results are expected in two to three days. But both patients don’t have any symptoms. In fact, they didn’t even require hospitalisation but we have kept them in a hospital as a precautionary measure,” he said.

A new variant of the coronavirus, classified as Omicron, has spread in several parts of South Africa, forcing many countries to shut their borders. Karnataka has instituted a mandatory test-on-arrival, and a seven-day quarantine thereafter if people are negative.

“We are taking every possible step to contain the spread of the new mutant strain. However, it is said to be spreading rapidly and I’m afraid we cannot stop it as India sees an influx of millions of people every day, being a large country. What we can do, however, is contain it,” the minister added.

Sudhakar also said that he has sought a detailed report on the Omicron variant. “We will get clear information on December 1 about how the Omicron behaves after the genomic sequencing. Accordingly, we will initiate all measures,” he explained.

Speaking about Omicron, Sudhakar, a medical professional, said he has spoken to doctors working in South Africa, who told him that the new variant is not as dangerous as the Delta variant.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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