7 in Karnataka test positive for UK coronavirus strain

7 in Karnataka test positive for UK coronavirus strain

46 primary contacts of the seven people have been quarantined

Representative Image. Credit: AFP Photo

Four UK returnees in Shivamogga district have been detected with the new coronavirus strain, Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar told reporters on Wednesday. While they have seven contacts, three of them have tested Covid-19 positive. The government will send their samples too for genetic sequencing, the minister revealed.

"All the seven patients have been admitted to a government hospital and are undergoing treatment there. We have to ascertain now if their contacts are carrying the new strain or the old strain," Sudhakar said.

However, Shivamogga District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Rajesh Suragihalli said the three contacts and the four patients were unrelated. "The four patients comprise a couple, a 44-year-old man and his 35-year-old wife, and their two children. One child is a 13-year-old girl and the other is a four-year-old boy. They came to Shivamogga on the morning of December 22 and were in home isolation. 

The following day when they tested positive, they were shifted to the district hospital and have been there ever since. Their only primary contact has tested negative and is under surveillance. Before they came to Shivamogga they've met two families in another district and we've shared this information with that district."

Contacts who tested positive unrelated

In all, five passengers arrived from UK to Shivamogga out of whom, four tested positive for the UK strain, the DHO said. While the four-member family tested positive for the UK strain, the fifth passenger, though tested positive for Covid, did not have the UK strain. 

"This fifth passenger who was negative for UK strain had nine primary contacts. Out of nine primary contacts, three turned out to be Covid positive. They're under hospital care. Six of his primary contacts are in institutional quarantine," Suragihalli said. 

"There's no relation between the fifth passenger and the four-member family because the former came to Bhadravati in Shivamogga on December 3. He tested positive for Covid after 21 days of arrival in India. We think he got infected locally. Also, he travelled from the United States and went to the UK for a connecting flight. He did not leave the airport there and was there only for a few hours. He tested positive on December 23. 

"Though the three primary contacts have no relation with anyone with the UK strain, we have sent their samples to NIMHANS on Tuesday for genetic sequencing," he added.