Two people tested coronavirus positive in Dakshina Kannada on Sunday after they had finished their institutional quarantine period and had returned home.

Karnataka reports cases of people testing positive for coronavirus after quarantine timePTI : Image for representation
Coronavirus Coronavirus Monday, June 01, 2020 - 16:42

Two men aged 50 and 42 respectively tested coronavirus positive on Sunday after they finished their seven-day institutional quarantine in Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka. They had returned from Qatar and Malaysia respectively. After they returned home from the quarantine facility, the duo’s samples tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and they were admitted to a designated COVID-19 hospital in Mangaluru.

This is not the first time this is happening. A man in Dakshina Kannada who was released from institutional quarantine on the night of May 29 was admitted in a hospital the next day after his coronavirus test results came out positive at midnight. 

In another case, a man who had completed his quarantine period and returned to his home in Belman in Udupi was later admitted to a hospital after his test result returned positive on May 31, three days after his release from institutional quarantine. A similar sequence of events repeated for a person in Belapu in Udupi district. 

However, authorities are still investigating and compiling if there are other cases of people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 after finishing their stipulated institutional quarantine period. 

The incidents come after a change in Karnataka’s quarantine policy based on guidelines issued by the Central government. While earlier guidelines stated that people will be released from institutional quarantine only after their test results have returned negative, people are now being released to quarantine themselves at home before their test results are out. "Those who finish the quarantine period were allowed to leave without waiting for results. They were stamped and asked to remain in home quarantine for a stipulated period of time," Dakshina Kannada DHO Ramachandra Bairy told TNM. The duration of quarantine depends on various factors such as whether the person is coming from a high-risk state or country.

"People in institutional quarantine were allowed to leave even though they were awaiting their COVID-19 test results. Whoever is positive, we are bringing them back and admitting them in designated hospital," Dr Prashant, Nodal officer for COVID-19 cases, in Udupi said. 

These instances have compelled district officials in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada to not only keep track of the people quarantined in their districts but are also to check up on those who have completed their quarantine duration in the past week.

Concerned by the developments, Ramachandra Bairy told TNM that authorities in the district will not allow people to leave institutional quarantine before their test results are out. "There are people who argue to be released but we have decided that in our district, we will be on the safer side and wait for the test results to come before releasing people from institutional quarantine.”

Earlier in April, a man who returned to Kozhikode in Kerala from Dubai tested positive for the virus at the end of his 28-day isolation period. Following this, four other cases emerged in Kerala with similar trajectories. 

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