This comes after the state’s Medical Education Minister, Dr Sudhakar stated that the source of infection for the Mysuru cluster was an employee of the company who had recently traveled to China.

Employee didnt go to China Mysuru pharma company denies Ktaka ministers statementRepresentative Image
Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 19:18

Countering statements issued by Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar, a Mysuru based pharmaceutical company has denied that its employee had travelled to China. 49 coronavirus patients, either employees or their contacts were connected to Jubilant Life Sciences, a pharmaceutical company based in Nanjangud in Mysuru.

“The company (Jubilant Life Sciences Limited) clarified that Patient P52 did not travel to China or on any overseas trip in the last six months. Further, none of the employees tested positive so far travelled overseas in the last six months,” reads a statement issued by Jubilant Life Sciences.

The company also stated that the packages from the company sent for testing at the National Institute of Virology in Pune had returned and that no traces of coronavirus was found on them. “Jubilant Life Sciences Limited noted in a press statement today that no traces of COVID-19 virus have been found in the imported raw material sampled from Nanjangud facility of its subsidiary-Jubilant Generics Limited. Raw material imported from China) tested negative for COVID-19 virus by National Institute of Virology, Pune as announced by the authorities of the Government of Karnataka. It is unfortunate that a wrong perception was created in public and media about the raw material imported from China”.

This statement comes after Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar on Thursday said to the media that the state had finally determined the source of the infection of a cluster of COVID-19 cases connected to a pharmaceutical company in Mysuru district.

Speaking to India Today and TNM, Dr Sudhakar had said that the first patient to test positive in the cluster (patient 52), a 35-year-old man from Nanjangud, had travelled to China. He said that the state’s Home Department had cracked the case.

Karnataka Education Minister S Suresh Kumar who conducts daily briefings related to the spread of the coronavirus in the state declined to comment on the assertion made by the Medical Education Minister when asked about the source of the infection.

"We are tracing it. We will get back with the details of this case tomorrow," he said. A source in the Mysuru administration said they were still investigating the source, when asked about Sudhakar's assertion.

On March 24, patient 52, a 35-year-old employee of the pharmaceutical company tested positive for coronavirus. He had begun developing symptoms of the disease on March 13.

Since then, 48 other patients connected to the company, including 28 other employees, tested positive for the virus. Stringent lockdown measures were implemented in Nanjangud town by Mysuru Police.

The company has over 1,400 employees and the state government asked all of them to be quarantined in their homes. 780 employees were tested over the last three weeks and 49 people tested positive for the virus. Incidentally on Thursday, the state health department confirmed that samples of materials tested from the factory sent for testing has also come back as negative. 

Till date, Mysuru has 61 positive cases, out of which 49 patients were found to be connected to the 35-year-old patient.

Earlier, authorities were investigating if any shipment from China had been the source of the infection since there was no relevant travel or contact history of any of the workers. It was initially said that he might have contracted the disease as he was in contact with health care professionals.

The company was also accused of not cooperating with the authorities in sharing details of the visitor log, which included details of many foreign delegates.

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