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COVID contact tracing, testing upped in Bengaluru after Omicron case

46-yr-old doctor attended medical conference, five of his contacts test positive for Covid-19, samples sent for genome sequencing 

Published: 03rd December 2021 06:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2021 08:55 AM   |  A+A-

Health worker collects swab at KSRTC bus stand in Bengaluru. (Photo | Shriram BN, EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Soon after news of samples of a doctor from a reputed government hospital being Omicron-positive spread, there was rising panic and fear not only among Bengalureans but also the medical fraternity and health officials.

According to BBMP officials, five contacts of the 46-year-old male doctor who tested positive, are found to be positive.

Their samples have been sent for genome sequencing and reports are awaited. Sources said the doctor, who does not have a travel history, had attended a medical conference where national and international delegates had participated. 

“There were around 80 delegates. Some could be carriers of the virus and may have spread it. We got to know because this doctor was one of them. We have started communication to trace all those who attended the conference and test them, and a close watch is also being kept on citizens for the variant virus. Not many are showing symptoms or their samples have not been given for genome sequencing,” the source added.

The BBMP and health department randomly collect samples of those who test positive and send them for sequencing, apart from special medical cases and those with international travel history. 

“This doctor’s samples were sent to NCBS for genome sequencing. He showed the Omicron symptoms of body pain and fever on the second and third day. He first tested positive on November 22 and again on November 24, the day his samples were sent for genome sequencing,” the source said.

As per contact tracing information, the doctor had 13 primary contacts and 204 secondary contacts. He was earlier in home quarantine, but when the samples were taken the second time, he was shifted to Bowring Hospital for treatment. 

“He had mild symptoms, and is fine now, since 10-12 days have passed. The worry now is the delay in obtaining the genome sequencing report and the other people who could have contracted the variant. 
It is also suspected that the patient’s wife and children could be infected. All contacts of the patient who tested positive are doctors. In case of two, the report showed the infection to be a Delta variant,” the source added. 

The primary and secondary contacts are from Bommanahalli, South and West Bengaluru. All those who tested positive, including the two who contracted Omicron, are doubly vaccinated, which is why the symptoms are mild, the source said. Along with primary and secondary contacts, 160 hospital staffers have also been tested.

Health and government officials are looking at patient details to test them and rule out all doubts.



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