75 UK returnees to be traced in Karnataka: Minister

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(Eds: Removes words in second para) Bengaluru, Jan 1 (PTI) Efforts are on to trace 75 people who have travelled to Karnataka from the UK with authorities hopeful of locating them soon, state Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Friday.

The number of returnees from the UK who have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus prevalent in the European nation remained at seven, he told reporters here.

'We are yet to trace 75 people who travelled from the UK... some foreign nationals are also there who might not have local contact numbers, their details have been collected from immigration department,' Sudhakar said.

He said the Home Department has assured all would soon be traced so that they can be tested.

Sudhakar said 70 of the 75 people were from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the city corporation, limits.

So far, on undergoing RT-PCR test 33 people, who have travelled from the UK, along with five of their contacts have tested positive for COVID taking the number to 38, he said.

All their samples underwent genomic sequencing at NIMHANS, out of which seven have been confirmed with UK variant virus infection, the Minister said.

According to the latest official information, a total of 5,068 people have come to Karnataka from the UK since November 25, out of which 4,238 people have come since December 9, and 810 were transit passengers traveling to other states.

'Information regarding 810 passengers has been shared with respective states,' he said.

Noting that from Saturday, COVID vaccine dry run will be held in five districts of the state, Sudhakar said, it will be a mock trial ahead of official vaccination to check our preparation.

Preparations have been done in Karnataka, he said, a minimum of 25 people, including designated health staff at primary health centre, taluk and district hospitals will be administered.

The vaccine dry run will be held in Kalaburagi, Shivamogga, Mysuru, Belagavi and Bengaluru.

A vision team has been constituted by the health department consisting of 38-40 health experts both from the private and government sectors, the Minister said. PTI KSU VS VS