Omicron scare: New clusters erupt near Bengaluru, Chikkamagaluru district
BENGALURU/CHIKKAMAGALURU: Amid rising scare over the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus, a big cluster with 70 positive cases emerged at the Jawahar Navodaya Residential School in Seegodu near Balehonnur in Chikkamagaluru district, even as 12 more positive cases were detected in two existing clusters at educational institutions near Anekal and Whitefield on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
A small cluster of three cases was reported at a pharmaceutical manufacturing factory in Bommasandra Industrial Area in Bengaluru.
At the school in Seegodu, three students and four staffers tested positive on Friday.
Alarmed district health officials on Saturday took swab samples of 418 students and staff, which showed 40 as positive.
Again on Sunday, when corona tests continued, another 30 students were positive, taking the total to 70.
District health officials said that all of them are asymptomatic and none of them have had a travel history. All those staying at the school have been quarantined, health and nursing staff pressed into service and the school has been sealed.
On Bengaluru outskirts, 10 staff members and students of two educational institutions, one near Anekal and the other near Whitefield that were identified as clusters on November 25 and 26, tested positive on Sunday.
Three others were positive during random tests at a pharmaceutical factory in Bommasandra Industrial Area, which is now designated a cluster.
Seven, including six students and a cook, tested positive on Sunday at Spurthy Nursing College in Marsur near Anekal. The college was already declared a cluster on November 26 when 12 had tested positive. The six students are women aged between 17 and 22.
“Those who tested positive on Sunday are all primary contacts of Covid patients whose test results returned tested positive on November 26. They were in isolation at the same location. While their test results were negative earlier, the second round done on the seventh day showed them to be positive,” an official from the Bengaluru Urban administration said.
Meanwhile, five staffers of a private boarding school, The International School Bangalore (TISB) near Whitefield, tested positive on Sunday.
On November 25, 33 students and one staffer were positive.
On Sunday, the test results of four men and a woman, all aged between 24 and 28 years, returned positive. They were in quarantine after the outbreak on the campus.
The staffers who tested positive include a counsellor and security guards, a Bengaluru district administration official said.
Three men tested positive at the pharmaceutical manufacturing factory in Bommasandra Industrial Area, where random testing of the housekeeping staff was conducted on Saturday.
They were shifted to a Covid Care Centre.
The BBMP staff had randomly tested 255 staff. The factory has not been closed, but the building will be sanitised. Tests will continue as the factory works in shifts, a BBMP official said.
35 contacts of first Omicron patient test negative
The BBMP has traced 35 people who were part of a conference attended by the first Omicron patient in the country, and their test results are negative.
“The 35 include the hotel staff, attendees such as doctors and technical staffers,” an officer said.
No of containment zones 75 in Bengaluru
The number of Covid containment zones in Bengaluru city has increased to 75, with a maximum of 27 at Bommanahalli.