Three more passengers who had flown in from the United Kingdom were found to be positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday. This takes the total number of infected among the fliers to six.
A BBMP official said all three are from the same family, comprising husband, wife and child, and are residents of a locality near Sarjapur Road in Mahadevapura zone. “The parents are aged 35 and 31,” the official said.
In addition, a source at Nimhans indicated that a fourth individual whose home district is Shivamogga also tested positive on Thursday.
However, this information could not be confirmed by a second source.
The new numbers come as Karnataka grapples with the challenge of curbing a potential outbreak of a new variant of the novel coronavirus, which has emerged in the United Kingdom. Data shows that some 2,158 people had flown into Bengaluru from London between December 1 and 22.
Surprisingly, 1,079 passengers, constituting 41.8% of the fliers, did not have an RT-PCR test done before boarding their flights to Bengaluru and are now being tested by the state government.
So, the government has acknowledged that three of the passengers have tested positive for Covid-19, although their samples have been sent to labs for genomic sequencing to determine if they are carrying the new version of the virus, which has been titled B.1.1.7.
Professionals, tourists among passengers
A substantial number of the passengers are visitors, professionals, tourists and Persons of Indian origin staying elsewhere and flying-in for family reunions or to attend to familial issues such as a death.
Nearly 110 passengers told authorities that they had come to attend to a death in the family, while another 59 cited emergency travel, including medical-related travel.
The data says 291 individuals are professionals, including 200 men and 91 women. A further 379 are visitors, of which 205 are males. Eighteen individuals stated their purpose as tourism. In addition, 184 are students, and as per records, these people range in age from a four-year-old boy to a 48-year-old man.
However, the largest chunk of the “student” crowd comprises 156 people ranging from 18 to 29 years. Over two dozen of the overall passengers are ethnic Britons.
Sixteen people stated their occupation as “workers” to health authorities, including 11 men and two people who are holders of Overseas Citizenship of India passports.
The largest number of passengers or 1,696 people have declared Bengaluru as their home district (including rural, urban and BBMP). Following this, 119 passengers said their home district is Mysuru, with 56 claimed affiliation with Dakshina Kannada.
When it comes to the age among the jet-set crowd, the largest group is 639 people in their 30s with the next largest group being 591 individuals in their 20s. Senior citizens (those aged 50 and above) comprise 108 women and 118 men. There are also 240 children and teens, including 37 babies aged 1 or under.
State Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar suggested that an additional 350 individuals had arrived in the state from November 25 to 30.