Bengaluru: Two South African nationals have tested COVID-19 positive at the Kempegowda International Airport here, creating panic among the health authorities over the new Omicron variant of the lethal virus.
Bengaluru Rural Deputy Commissioner K. Srinivas on Saturday said further test reports would ascertain whether the South African nationals are infected with the Omicron variant.
The test results will take another 48 hours to arrive, the Health Department said.
Both have been sent to quarantine centres, and they will stay there till their test results confirm about the new variant.
Srinivas said that as many as 584 people, so far, have arrived here from 10 “high-risk” nations, and as many as 94 individuals have come from South Africa alone so far.
He also visited the Bengaluru airport to inspect the security and precautionary measures being undertaken by the authorities regarding examining the international passengers who arrive from high risk countries where the Omicron variant has been detected.
Earlier, Karnataka Health Minister, Dr K Sudhakar said that the people coming from new COVID-19 variant affected countries have to take RT-PCR after landing in Bengaluru.
Dr K Sudhakar, said: “We are constantly in touch with the Union Health Ministry and have information that this new strain in South Africa, Hong Kong, Israel, & Botswana is very contagious & has overtaken the Delta variant.”
“People coming from these affected countries will take the RT-PCR once they land in Bengaluru. If found positive, they will stay in and around the airport and will be treated, if needed. The home quarantine will be mandatory after their arrival,” added the Minister.
The minister added that 281 students tested positive in SDM College of Medical Sciences in Dharwad. “We have tested all 1,788 students of the college, some results are awaited. Also, one international school had reported 34 cases and another 12 cases. None of these cases was severe.”
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai on Saturday called a meeting of experts of the health and disaster department to discuss the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state.
Karnataka reported 402 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths on Saturday. As per the state’s health department, the state has 6,611 active cases of infection. Karnataka has recorded 29,94,963 infections since the onset of the pandemic last year.