FIR against Omicron-positive S African national for fleeing Bengaluru

by IANS |

Bengaluru, Dec 7 (IANS) The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has filed a case under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020 against a South African national for fleeing the country while under quarantine in Bengaluru, police said on Tuesday.

The South African national was among the first two persons to be detected with the Omicron variant in the country. His exit before the results came in caused a major embarrassment to authorities.

The 66-year-old man had managed to produce a negative RT-PCR test result report from a private lab to return to South Africa, via Dubai, even before test results of genomic sequencing came.

BBMP Medical Officer at Shivajinagar, Dr Naveen Kumar had lodged a complaint at High Grounds police station in Bengaluru in this connection. The complaint also mentioned the negligence of the hotel staff.

The South African was quarantined at a star hotel on November 20 after he tested positive for Covid-19 at the Kempegowda International Airport here. He was supposed to be quarantined for 14 days.

The hotel management was also informed of the issue. However, the staff let out the South African on November 27. When police questioned staffers, they maintained that he was let out after he produced a negative test result obtained by a private lab.

The South African had produced the same negative RT-PCR certificate at the KIAL and got clearance. Sources said that he is the head of a pharmaceutical company in Johannesburg and came to Bengaluru to take part in the board meeting.

The Karnataka government, on December 3, took a decision to order a probe into this case. Revenue Minister R. Ashok stated that the government has taken the issue seriously. "As discrepancies are suspected over the South African national's exit from Bengaluru, we have directed the Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru to initiate inquiry into the issue," he said.

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