A viral message claimed 19 people in Bengaluru have tested positive for Coronavirus, but officials confirmed to TNM that the message is false.

Fact check 19 people not affected by Coronavirus in Bengalurus Wilson Garden
Delve Coronavirus Sunday, February 02, 2020 - 11:50

There have been two confirmed cases of Coronavirus in India so far — both in Kerala, but panic has spread fast. A message is now doing the rounds on messaging apps as well as social media stating that 19 people from Wilson Garden in Bengaluru have tested positive for the virus. 

“Today's breaking news now...19 ppl r affected with CORONA VIRUS only in WILSON GARDEN Surrounding areas ...pls friends kindly update it to family and friends too.....all of us take care.....” the message read.

This message is fake. Speaking to TNM Dr Prakasha, Bengaluru DHO, stated that there have been no such cases from Wilson Garden.

“There have been no such cases reported from Wilson Garden. The situation is being monitored and any potentially affected individuals are being screened. Such forwards are being circulated and are causing a lot of panic. Please don’t believe them,” he said. 

From January 20 and January 31, 4,367 travellers were screened at the Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport. This included three travellers with a history of travelling to Wuhan in the past two weeks. None of the travellers tested positive on the thermal scanner. 

20 people with a travel history of visiting China recently also tested negative for the Coronavirus in Bengaluru. Only one man's test results are awaited and the patient is currently in an isolation ward in RGICD.

On Friday, a Bengaluru family of five was tested, after neighbours alerted authorities that the family had returned from China. The family did not visit Wuhan, but another province in China.  

According to Dr Deepak UG, the nodal officer at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, the family was screened at the airport. "When they visited the hospital, they were asymptomatic and did not have fever or chest pain. They had gastrointestinal problems. Their blood and sputum samples were collected and their test results are awaited," Dr Deepak told TNM. 

The Karnataka government has identified four private hospitals where suspected persons with travel history are quarantined. Their blood and sputum samples will be sent to either a lab at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) or a branch of the National Institute of Virology located near RGICD as they are the only two centres authorised for testing.

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