The Assistant Personnel Officer’s son, who returned from Germany on March 13, was tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.

Bengaluru rail officer suspended for not quarantining son who tested COVID-19 positive
Coronavirus Coronavirus Friday, March 20, 2020 - 09:57

A gazetted railway officer of South Western Railway zone in Bengaluru has been suspended for not informing the state health officials that her son had returned from Germany via Spain, and for lodging him in a government rest house in the city on his arrival. Her son was eventually tested positive for COVID-19.

The 25-year-old man, who came from Germany via Spain, was instructed to be in home-quarantine after he landed at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on March 13, Friday. His mother, that is, the officer in question, identified as Assistant Personnel Officer (Traffic) Nagalatha Guruprasad, then put up her son at the Officers Rest House near the station on March 17, although the reason is unknown. He was tested positive the next day, on March 18, Wednesday.

The railway officer has been suspended for not informing the same to the state government or the rail authority. Ajay Kumar Singh, the General Manager of South Western Railways, issued the suspension order on March 19.

In a statement, E Vijaya, Deputy General Manager, Public Relations, SWR, said, “As per the recent Karnataka Epidemic (the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020) Act, any person with a travel history to a country affected by COVID-19 or if comes in contact with such person shall declare the same and intimate the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Karnataka. Nagalata came in contact with her son who recently returned from Germany via Spain and she did intimate the state government or the railways about the same.”

The statement added that the officer chose to quarantine her son in a government rest house frequented by railway officials, “posing a potential public health hazard”.

A BBMP health official however, said that the man, a resident of Hubballi did the right thing of availing the railway facility rather than travelling long distances.

“He has actually done a good job. He was himself thinking that he might have had the disease. He could have travelled to Hubballi or taken any hotel. But he took this as this is a restricted area. Even for the cab he took, he noted down the driver’s name and address. He has given all the details.

For all the 4 days he stayed here, he did not leave the room, added the officer. However, the department is unhappy with the officer as it came to light that instead of staying in quarantine, the officer visited the office on Saturday.

Railway officials told TNM that she has her own chamber in the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) office and claimed that she did not come in contact with any other staff.

They also added that she had taken leave and did not visit the office on Monday and Tuesday, contrary to some media reports. Meanwhile, the rest house has been shut for the public and is being sanitised by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the civic body of Bengaluru.

The Officers Rest House has also suspended allotment of suites as a preventive measure since Wednesday.

 

 

 

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