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Karnataka to Probe Movement of First Omicron Patient; 10 Other Foreign Fliers Go Off Radar

Omicron, which was first identified in South Africa exactly a week ago, now has been detected in at least 24 countries around the world. (Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

Omicron, which was first identified in South Africa exactly a week ago, now has been detected in at least 24 countries around the world. (Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

The 66-year-old man tested positive upon his arrival at Bengaluru airport on Nov 20. He left on Nov 27 after furnishing a negative Covid report from a private lab.

The movement of India’s first Omicron patient, a South African national, who left the country for Dubai a week after testing positive, has sent the Karnataka government into a tizzy, raising several questions on how he was able to move out so fast and who all helped him.

The 66-year-old man tested positive upon his arrival at Bengaluru airport on November 20 and had checked into Shangri-La Hotel in the central part of the city. He was on a business visit, said the Karnataka government, which has now decided to probe the role of Shangri-La on whether it followed the protocols.

The man had a negative RT-PCR report while boarding the flight, but once he arrived in Bengaluru, he tested positive for Covid-19 and was isolated at Shangri-La. State authorities said he got a separate test done at a private lab on November 23. Once the report came negative, he left the country on November 27.

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As per records, he travelled to Dubai even before the genome sequencing report of his samples could come.

State revenue minister R Ashok said that the Bengaluru civic body has been asked to probe whether Shangri-La had followed all the required protocols and if it took the right steps.

10 international passengers ‘missing’

There are also another ten international passengers who seem to have gone off the radar. They had given their samples at the airport on arrival and checked into hotels, but are not reachable now.

“These missing people, by midnight, our police will trace them and test them,” Ashok said at a press briefing.

Earlier, state health minister K Sudhakar had said that the ‘missing’ passengers have switched off their phones or are not reachable. “We have, in earlier times, used police to track down thousands of such people during the second wave. So ten is not a big number for us. But I request all passengers to cooperate with health officials and the administration and not do such things,” he had said.

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first published:December 03, 2021, 17:47 IST