‘Doctor, contacts have only mild fever’
The 46-year-old anaesthetist from a government hospital in Bengaluru, infected with the Omicron variant, and all his five contacts are largely asymptomatic, said doctors at the State-run Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute, where they have been admitted.
Following recommendations by the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), a 60-bed dedicated ‘Omicron’ treatment facility has been set up at the hospital.
Manoj Kumar H.V., dean and director of the institute, told The Hindu on Friday that the doctor and all his five contacts have been accommodated on a separate floor in the hospital.
“The doctor’s contacts include his wife, who is also a doctor, his children (two daughters aged 5 years and 14 years), another anaesthetist and a cardiologist from the same government hospital. All of them only have a mild fever and we are treating them just with paracetamol. Until we get new guidelines from the Centre, the existing COVID-19 treatment and discharge protocol will be followed,” Dr. Manoj said.
Elaborating, the doctor said all these six people will be tested after the tenth day and discharged if they test negative. Subsequently, they will be advised for ten days home quarantine. The genome sequencing reports of the contacts are awaited, he said.
Sources in the hospital where the anaesthetist is employed said all the 163 Operation Theatre (OT) staff and patients in the ICU were retested and found to be negative.
“Although there are reports that the new variant is highly transmissible, we have not seen any spread or cluster reported in the hospital so far. He along with the other two doctors (his contacts who have tested RTPCR positive) had attended the conference on November 20 and have not reported for work since then,” sources said.
“Despite the high viral load, the doctor’s symptoms were mild. He isolated himself as soon as his sample tested positive and stayed under home isolation till November 24. The next day, he got admitted to a hospital and was discharged on November 27,” sources said.
All the international speakers at the conference that the three doctors attended in a star-hotel participated online. “The attendance was hybrid and 80% of participants attended online. The source of infection is not the conference,” sources added.