Probe begins to trace source of Nanjangud COVID-19 cluster
COVID-19, News

Probe begins to trace source of Nanjangud COVID-19 cluster

April 25, 2020

Mysore/Mysuru: Following a directive from the State Government, senior IAS Officer Harsha Gupta, who was earlier appointed as Nodal Officer, COVID-19 Control Operations, Mysuru district, has begun an investigation into the mysterious Coronavirus spread from Nanjangud-based Jubilant Generics, a drug-making company.

The State Government late last evening ordered a probe to ascertain reasons for the spread of COVID-19 in Mysuru district and it held the management of Jubilant Generics responsible for the spread of the positive cases.

Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar asked Harsha Gupta to conduct the probe to find out the sources and reasons for the spread of virus and also investigate the responsibility of the factory in the spread of the virus. Harsha Gupta has been asked to submit a report in a week.

“Despite stringent measures, the main reason for Mysuru district to emerge as a hotspot (for COVID-19) is the Jubilant Generics plant in Nanjangud,” Vijay Bhaskar said in his order.

Speaking to reporters in city this morning, Mysuru Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar said that the Chief Secretary’s order came last evening and Harsha Gupta has already begun his probe by collecting information from the District Administration, Police and Health Department.

 Health Department sources told ‘Star of Mysore’ that the inquiry will investigate the source of the infection in Nanjangud town and reasons for becoming a pandemic affecting the plant’s employees, their family members and relatives. Mysuru Superintendent of Police (SP) C.B. Ryshyanth, his deputy and three Inspectors will assist Harsha Gupta in tracing the root cause of the virus spread, sources added.

Out of the cumulative 88 COVID-19 cases reported in Mysuru district, 73 are linked to Jubilant Generics. On Mar. 26, a 35-year-old patient (P52), an employee of Jubilant Generics, tested positive for COVID-19. The first case reported from Nanjangud, P52 had no travel or contact history.

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Subsequently, many employees of the company and their primary contacts (family members and relatives) tested positive, qualifying it as a cluster case. A consignment from China that landed in the factory was initially suspected to be the source of the infection. The China consignment was active pharmaceutical ingredients used in drugs like Azithromycin Dihydrate and Azithromycin Monohydrate, which are needed to fight COVID-19 disease.

Later, the consignment imported from China tested negative for virus by the State-run National Institute of Virology in Pune. So far, how P52 had contracted the infection has remained a mystery. Even the State Government had sought details of the foreign nationals who visited the factory before Coronavirus cases were reported.

The local residents, led by Nanjangud MLA B. Harshavardhan, have been demanding a thorough probe as they hold the company responsible for the spread of the pandemic. However, only a probe can solve the mystery.

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