Bengaluru: Two contacts of UK returnees test Covid +ve

Two primary contacts of UK returnees in Bengaluru test Covid-19 positive

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Tracking the primary and secondary contacts of UK returnees, the state Health Department has detected a large number of people connected with them. 

The move comes at a time when the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has not released the genetic sequence findings of Covid patients who have returned from the UK. 

The BBMP, for instance, has found 45 primary and nine secondary contacts of the 15 Covid-positive UK returnees. While one more returnee residing in the East Zone was tested Covid-positive on Monday, the BBMP has so far found two contacts of the patients to have contracted the infection. One of the contacts is from the West Zone, while the other is from Dasarahalli, said Dr Vijayendra B K, Chief Health Officer, Public Health, BBMP. 

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The tally of Covid-positive UK returnees increased from 26 on Sunday to 27 on Monday. Out of 1,766 UK returnees tested across the state, 355 reports are awaited, while 1,384 tested negative. 

As for the primary contacts, Mahadevapura has 17, Bommanahalli 11, West nine, Dasarahalli, and East Zone three each. The South Zone has two contacts, RR Nagar and Yelahanka have no contacts since they have no Covid-positive UK returnees. 

Out of the 11 primary contacts of the three covid-positive returnees in the West Zone, just one tested positive. Similarly, the four UK returnees in Bommanahalli have six contacts whose reports are awaited, said BBMP Joint Commissioner for Bommanahalli, M Ramakrishna. 

Mahadevapura has five Covid-positive UK returnees, East Zone has two, South and Dasarahalli, respectively, have one each. “All of these (contacts) are family members,” Dr Manoranjan Hegde, BBMP Health Officer, West, said. 

“The contacts are not from their workplace or unrelated, indicating that these patients didn’t transmit the infection in their communities,” he added. 

Though it is not known if the returnees are carrying the new variant B.1.1.7, first spotted in the UK, tracing their primary and secondary contacts is crucial since similar but distinct variants have already been seen in South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Japan. 

Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases, deaths on December 28

Rajendra Cholan, BBMP’s Special Commissioner, Health and IT, said 2,406 passengers arrived in the city from the UK between December 1 and 21. Among them, 1,586 were traced to BBMP areas.

While 207 of them are untraceable, 1,346 were available for testing. Nearly 1,236 of the returnees have been tested and 110 yet to undergo testing. Reports of 280 passengers are awaited.