The Bengaluru techie who tested positive works in an MNC and has had primary or secondary contact with around 2,666 people since his return from the USA.

The mammoth task of tracing contacts of coronavirus-affected Bengaluru techieImage for representation
news Coronavirus Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 08:47

Karnataka recorded its first case of coronavirus in the state with a software engineer in Bengaluru with a travel history to USA testing positive for the disease. While the techie has been isolated at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) in Bengaluru, his wife and daughter, and his colleague have been quarantined at the hospital. The techie’s driver, the driver’s wife and his two children have been placed under home isolation as well. 

The colleague had travelled with the techie from Austin in Texas to New York, and then to India via Dubai. According to officials, they sat next to each other in the flight.

However, a daunting task now lies ahead of the health officials in Karnataka, as Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar announced on Monday that the techie had primary or secondary contact with around 2,666 people since his return from the USA. The techie, who works with multi national company went to his place of work for two days before he developed symptoms and the Karnataka health department has formed three teams for contact tracing — one team for his residence, one to trace contacts at his workplace and one to track travel history and the passengers who came in contact with him on the Emirates flight back to India. 

The health officials stated that the passengers seated two rows in front and two rows behind him, as well as the crew, have been identified. “Work is on to isolate them and they will be kept under surveillance,” Dr K Sudhakar told the media on Monday. Around 16 people on the flight are under home isolation, he added.

At the techie’s workplace too, those who came in contact with him are being identified, since the techie attended work on March 2 and March 3, the days before he developed symptoms.

“The patient is healthy. There is no need to panic. There is no aggrieved condition reported, he is doing fine,” Dr Sudhakar told the media. 

The school in which the techie's child studies had already declared a holiday since the child had been attending school till last Friday.

Health officials added that till date, a total of 982 people have been identified for observation, out of which 266 people have completed 28 days of observation and 700 persons are currently under home quarantine. These include persons who have travelled to COVID-19 affected countries and the contacts of COVID-19 positive cases. As of Monday, 12 persons have been admitted to selected isolation wards in hospitals. Till date, 432 samples of symptomatic persons have been sent for testing, out of which 364 samples have returned negative. The sample results for the remaining 68 are awaited. 

Officials added that till date, a total of 91,911 passengers have been screened in Karnataka. 61,585 passengers have been screened at Kempegowda International Airport, 25,003 passengers were screened at Mangalore International airport and 5,323 passengers have been screened at Mangaluru and Karwar seaports. 

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