New strain of virus: Contact tracing efforts stepped up

A BBPM health worker collecting a swab sample from a passenger at Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna railway station in Bengaluru on Tuesday.  

With three persons who have come to the city from the United Kingdom confirmed to have the new variant of the coronavirus, said to be more virulent and contagious, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has said that it has stepped up contact tracing and isolating the primary and secondary contacts.

BBMP’s Special Commissioner (Health) Rajendra Cholan told The Hindu that thus far, the civic body had tested as many as 1,480 persons who returned to the city from the U.K.. Of these, 16 positive for the new strain. Samples have been sent for further tests and confirmation, he said.

He also said that 48 primary contacts of those who had tested positive had been traced, some of them family members. As per the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the MHA, he said that primary contacts have to undergo institutional quarantine, where their health and other parameters may be monitored.

Mr. Cholan said that those who travelled with the three persons on the same flight from the U.K. would also be deemed primary contacts. The three infected travelled to the city from the U.K. on December 19. “We know who sat near the three persons. They will also be tested and monitored,” he said, and added that the details of all these persons had been shared with the zones concerned.

Earlier, the civic body was blamed for the explosion of COVID-19 cases in the city as a result of ineffective contact tracing. The Special Commissioner, however, maintained that there were more human and and resources on the field now, actively involved in contact tracing.

Though he claimed that contact tracing had been stepped up, according to the bulletin issued by the BBMP on Monday (December 28), of the 1,594 travellers from U.K., the civic body was yet to trace 212 persons. As many as 718 were from outside Bengaluru, including 64 duplications in data. Of the 16 who have tested positive, four are from Bommanahalli zone, one is from Dasarahalli, two from East, five from Mahadevapura, three from West and one from South zone.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 4:08:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/new-strain-of-virus-contact-tracing-efforts-stepped-up/article33449163.ece

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