South African variant of coronavirus detected in Ballari siblings | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Karnataka reported two more Covid-19 cases with the South African variant of SARS-CoV-2 on Friday. A 25-year-old man and his sister, in her early 20s, both of whom had returned from Dubai on February 17, were found to be infected with the South African variant of the virus.
They had both tested negative on arrival at KIA airport and had left for Ballari, their hometown.
“They developed symptoms after coming to Ballari and took the test again. They both tested positive and were admitted to a designated hospital on February 22. They recovered and went home. Genomic sequencing was conducted on their samples and we got the report on Thursday. The siblings are currently at home,” said Dr HL Janardhan, Ballari, DHO.
The siblings have undergone tests again and reports are awaited. “Their parents and some of their contacts have tested negative. We are tracing more contacts,” Dr Janardhan said. They had reportedly gone to Dubai to meet relatives, he said. With this there have been three cases of Covid patients testing positive for the South African strain so far in Karnataka. The first was reported from Shivamogga.
Following the spike in Covid cases in the state, Jawaid Akhtar, additional chief secretary, health and family welfare department issued a circular to all districts and directed officers to enhance Covid testing. Fearing a second wave, revised testing targets have been given to districts. BBMP has been asked to conduct 40,000 tests a day, followed by 5,000 a day in Mysuru, 3,500 in Tumakuru, and 3,000 each in Belagavi and Dakshina Kannada.
Akhtar has also instructed deputy commissioners of all districts to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour in public places to prevent the spread of the virus.
The state conducted 73,632 tests on Friday and of them more than 70,000 were RTPCR tests. Meanwhile, 12,055 people aged between 45 and 60 years with comorbidities took the first dose of the vaccine on Friday, while 57,885 senior citizens got the jab. No severe adverse event following immunisation was reported from the state.
Of the 2,991 sessions planned, 2979 were held indicating. Health commissioner KV Thrilok Chandra said the vaccination drive is falling in place and more people have come forward to take the jab.
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Sagar Biswas

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