ASI who tested positive is a suspected super-spreader

ASI who tested coronavirus positive is a suspected super-spreader in Bengaluru

.Representative image: iStock Photo

An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) has tested positive for Covid-19, apparently after an oversight, and health officials fear he could have infected many others in 10 days.

A senior municipal official said the ASI — a 57-year-old man, now referred to as Patient 2333 — was omitted from the list of contacts of a 30-year-old lorry driver who tested positive after the Hebbagodi police arrested him on May 16 on charges of theft.

“When the contact tracing was carried out, the ASI was not included in the list. Consequently, he was not placed in quarantine as the other primary and secondary contacts were,” a Palike official said.

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The ASI was subsequently discovered to be positive on Monday, due to the ongoing testing of all police personnel for coronavirus. Police sources verified that he was not part of the 30-strong group of people, including a judge of a local court where the suspect had been produced for arraignment. The suspect had been quarantined.

This 30-strong group has subsequently tested negative, health officials said. Even though the Department of Health and Family Welfare lists the ASI as a contact of the 30-year-old truck driver, the police say there is no connection.

“It is true that the ASI was a member of the Hebbagodi police station, but he had been placed on light duties on account of his age and was not at the station when the Covid positive robbery suspect and his accomplice were brought in and held there,” explained Ravi D Channannavar, Superintendent of Police (Bengaluru Rural district). 

K Nanjunde Gowda, Deputy SP, Anekal subdivision (Bengaluru Rural district) added: “I don’t know how the ASI can be linked to the lorry driver who turned positive. He never even laid eyes on him. At the time, he had been assigned to duty at a market in Singena Agrahara.”

Other cases in city

Among the two other cases registered in Bengaluru Rural, one is the contact of a person infected in a containment zone, while the other is a primary contact of three who returned from Maharashtra last week.

7 cops recover

Director-General of Police Praveen Sood said 22 police personnel have tested positive for Covid-19 in the state so far. Seven have recovered.

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