Efforts on to track 38 passengers who had travelled with patient from Bengaluru to Murnad
Madikeri: A 35-year-old man from Kodagu district tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, taking the count to 15 in the State. He had returned from Dubai to Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on Mar. 15 and travelled to Kodagu by bus via Mysuru.
The Kodagu District administration is scrambling to identify (contact-tracing or contact-tracking) the positive patient’s fellow passengers who travelled with him in the KSRTC Rajahamsa bus from Bengaluru to Murnad via Mysuru.
While the auto driver, who had dropped the patient from Murnad to his house at Kuthimotte village near Kondangeri, presented himself before the doctors this morning, officials have identified three teachers who travelled in the same bus from Bengaluru. Efforts are on to trace the others. There were 38 passengers in the bus. The bus has been thoroughly sanitised before it went for other trips.
The COVID-19 positive patient was kept under quarantine at home and was initially asymptomatic. He was admitted to the designated isolation hospital at Madikeri on Mar. 17 and his samples were collected the same day. His contact tracing is currently underway, according to the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
Advisory to passengers
The Kodagu District Administration has issued an advisory to all passengers who travelled with the man on the Dubai-Bengaluru flight and in the bus from Bengaluru to his native near Murnad.
“All passengers who were on board the Indigo flight (No. 6E96) on Mar.15, which reached Bengaluru at 4.15 pm and also those who travelled in the KSRTC Rajahamsa Bus (KA-19-F-3170), which started from Mysuru Road Satellite Bus Station, Bengaluru at 11.33 pm to Madikeri (via Virajpet and Murnad) should immediately report to the nearest Government hospital,” the advisory said.
Even the KSRTC has issued a plea asking all those who travelled on the Rajahamsa bus along with the patient to report to the nearest Government hospital. “A total of 38 passengers including 33 unreserved passengers travelled on the bus. All the five reserved passengers in that bus were informed over phone to report immediately to a Government hospital,” said a KSRTC Traffic Controller from Madikeri.
Other possible patient contacts
Latest reports from Madikeri say that the auto driver who dropped the COVID-19 positive patient from Murnad to his home at Kuthimotte village near Kondangeri turned up at Kodagu Institute of Medical Sciences in Madikeri this morning for check up. Doctors have taken the driver to an isolation ward at Madikeri Medical College where his samples will be collected and sent for tests.
Efforts are on to trace the people who travelled in the same auto during the course of the day on Mar. 16. Officials have not ruled out screening of the patient’s relatives who came in contact with him till he reported to the hospital.
Three teachers identified
Three teachers from Virajpet Taluk who have travelled in the Rajahamsa bus along with the COVID-19 positive patient from Bengaluru have been traced and are being examined at Kodagu Institute of Medical Sciences after keeping them in isolation.
Soon after the announcement of a positive patient was made, Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy said that prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been imposed in Kodagu. Hotels, lodges, dormitories and home stays in the district will remain closed. Tourist spots, which were already closed last week, will continue to remain closed.
197 people are currently under home quarantine in Kodagu after returning to India from abroad. This includes 78 people in Madikeri taluk, 54 people in Virajpet taluk and 55 people in Somwarpet taluk. People travelling through the district’s border with Kerala are being screened.
Meanwhile, the village of Kuthimotte has been declared as a Containment Zone and the residents have been put under observation and isolation as a precaution until Mar. 31. They have been asked to stay at home and not to interact with others. The village has about 75 families consisting of 306 persons.
Kodagu DC Annies Kanmani Joy said the District Administration has made arrangements to provide all essential supplies, including food to the residents until they come out of the isolation. The Department of Food and Civil Supplies would look after the essential supplies.
No visitor is allowed into the village and all access points have been sealed with Police personnel guarding them. All events and gatherings have been banned. Hotels and shops including those supplying essential items will remain closed. A buffer zone for five km from the village has been identified and the persons in the area would also be under observation.
Landed at Kempegowda International Airport at 4.30 pm from Dubai on Mar. 15
In airport till 5.30 pm
Took a BMTC bus and went to Al-Bek Hotel in Malleswaram to eat a meal
Took an auto at 10 pm to reach Mysuru Road Satellite Bus Stand
Boarded a KSRTC Rajahamsa bus (KA 19-F3170) to Murnad at 11.33 pm
Bus stopped at Mysuru Bus Stand at 2.30 am on Mar. 16
Reached Murnad on Mar. 16 at 5.30 am and then reached his Kuthimotte village near Kondangeri at 6 am
On Mar. 16, travelled to nearby Kunjila village with his family members
On Mar. 16, visited a local religious place and his relatives
On Mar. 17, he came with his friend and got admitted at Madikeri hospital after he showed severe signs of fever and cough