- 10 South African nationals have gone missing in Bengaluru after 2 Omicron cases surfaced in city
- A Karnataka minister said the missing nationals will be traced by tonight
- Bengaluru is on alert amid new Covid variant Omicron who severity is not known yet
Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashok on Friday said that 10 South African nationals, who are reportedly missing, will be tracked down by midnight as authorities have been given directions in this regard. The Karnataka capital Bengaluru is on alert after accounting for the first two cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in the country. Out of the two cases, one is a South African national who escaped the country after furbishing a negative certificate from a private lab. Another Omicron-infected person is a local doctor.
Speaking to media after the high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, he said, Revenue minister said, "They will be tracked and tested. The authorities have been given directions in this regard."
Following detection of the two cases of Omicron infection in Bengaluru, 10 South African nationals became untraceable in Bengaluru causing worry for the state Health Department.
These South African nationals had arrived in Bengaluru between November 12 and 22. The Health Department, which is on high alert after detection of Omicron cases, wanted to get these persons tested, but they have gone missing.
They were not found at the address given at the airport and their mobile phones were switched off. As many as 57 persons have arrived from high-risk countries including these 10.
The Health Department has already approached the police to track and trace these persons, as it plans to send all samples to genomic sequencing tests to get clarity on the presence of Omicron virus.
Asked about this, BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said that he doesn't have any direct information regarding the matter. "I can say that contact tracing is a continuous process and if they are not found, there are standard protocols to deal with the situation. We are prepared to tackle any situation."
The stringent measures at the airport were initiated from November 22 onwards but these persons have arrived in Bengaluru prior to that.