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Omicron threat: Search intensifies for four absconding South Africans in Bengaluru

Reached city two weeks ago, are now incommunicado; health officials tracing all international passengers who arrived in the last 2 weeks

Published: 04th December 2021 07:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2021 09:32 AM   |  A+A-

A health worker at Kempegowda bus station adjusts the mask of an elderly woman in Bengaluru on Friday. (Photo | Shriram BN/EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Four South Africans who flew into Bengaluru two weeks ago, are now not traceable. This has become a matter of worry for BBMP, health and police officials. Officials say that many people from high-risk countries had arrived in Bengaluru much before the state government imposed orders that all international travellers must carry a negative RT-PCR test report, and go through another test on arrival.

“As a precautionary measure and a routine exercise, we started tracing all international travellers who came into the city in the past two or three weeks, especially from high-risk countries. On Friday morning, while tracing the travellers, we found that 10 South Africans were not traceable. But as the day progressed, we could track them. Now, four travellers are not traceable, and we are seeking police help to find them,” said a BBMP health official.

BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said from the time the new variant was reported, negative test reports and double vaccination certificates had become mandatory.

The 10 South African travellers had been traced and quarantined, and their samples taken again. If they test positive, they will receive immediate medical attention. 

Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said, “To ensure there are no untoward incidents, we will give more preference to tracing international travellers.”

He also ordered international travellers not to switch off their mobile phones or go incommunicado. 

Officials said the exercise of filing cases and sending people to jail under the Disaster Management and Epidemics Act will now come into effect.

“The rules were not being implemented after unlocking began, but are being brought back with the Omicron variant being reported. Stern action will be taken if anyone who gives Covid-19 samples or has symptoms is not traceable,” asserted a senior health official.



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