‘Sample of 1 person who came from South Africa different from Delta’

News Network
November 29, 2021

Bengaluru, Nov 29: Amid the Omicron variant of Covid-19 creating concern globally, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Monday said the sample of one of the two persons who arrived in Bengaluru recently from South Africa is 'different from the Delta variant'.

The minister said he was not supposed to say anything officially as he was still in touch with the union health ministry and the Indian Council for Medical Research officials.

"There is a delta variant for the past nine months only, but you are saying that one of the samples is Omicron. I cannot say about it officially. I am in touch with the ICMR and central government officials," Sudhakar told reporters here.

The sample has been sent to ICMR, he said. Refusing to divulge the identity of the man, the minister said his Covid report shows that he has contracted a different variant of the novel coronavirus.

"There is a 63-year-old man whose name I should not disclose. His report is a bit different. It appears different from the delta variant. We will discuss with the ICMR officials and will let people know by the evening what it is," the minister said.

The minister said he would chair a marathon meeting on Tuesday with the officers of his department, from the Principal Secretary to the Primary Health Centre level doctors, regarding the steps to be taken.

He added that the members of the Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 have also been invited to the meeting.

Sudhakar also said that he has sought a detailed report on the Omicron variant. "We will get clear information on December 1 about how the Omicron behaves after the genomic sequencing. Accordingly, we will initiate all measures," he explained.

Underlining the fact that the new variant is visible in at least 12 nations, Sudhakar said the international travellers will be tested carefully and those tested positive will be hospitalised compulsorily.

"We are tracking and closely watching all those who came from South Africa in the past 14 days. We have started tracing and testing their primary and secondary contacts since Saturday," the minister said.

Speaking about Omicron, Sudhakar, who himself is a medical professional, said he has also spoken to his classmate doctors working in South Africa, who told him that the new variant is not as dangerous as the delta variant.

"The satisfying thing I came across after talking to my classmates in South Africa is that this (Omicron variant) spreads rapidly, but it is not as dangerous as Delta. People feel nausea and vomiting and sometimes the pulse rate goes up, but the loss of taste and smell is not there. There is less hospitalisation because its intensity is not severe," Sudhakar explained.

To a query on the possibility of a lockdown, Sudhakar said there was no such proposal before the government and there was no need to panic as people have already suffered losses due to the earlier lockdown in terms of loss of lives and livelihood.

According to health department officials, the two persons who flew into Bengaluru from South Africa tested positive for Covid-19 on November 11 and 20. Both were hospitalised, they added. 

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News Network
January 11,2022

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Singer Lata Mangeshkar has been hospitalised after she tested positive for Covid-19. She is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. Her niece Rachana Shah confirmed the news to ANI and said that she has mild symptoms.

“She is doing fine; has been kept in ICU only for precautionary reasons considering her age. Please respect our privacy and keep Didi in your prayers,” Rachana said.

Lata was earlier admitted to the hospital in September 2019, when she complained of breathing problems. “Lata didi suffered from a viral chest infection so we got her to the hospital. But now, she is on a path of recovery. Thank you for your concern,” Rachana had said in a statement at the time.

The 92-year-old singer has recorded songs in more than 1,000 Hindi films in several languages. She is the recipient of three National Film Awards, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and the Bharat Ratna, among other honours.

Last month, Lata took to Twitter to commemorate 80 years of her debut on radio. She tweeted in Hindi, “On 16 December 1941, I sang two songs for the first time in the studio for radio after seeking the blessings of my parents. It has been 80 years today. In these 80 years, I have got immense love and blessings from the people. I believe that I will always keep getting your love and blessings.”

Mumbai is witnessing a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, including the Omicron variant. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) additional commissioner Suresh Kakani told PTI that the civic body was ready to take on any crisis.

“Out of 30,500 hospital beds in Mumbai, only 3,500 beds are currently occupied. Also, adequate oxygen supply, medicines, ventilators, ICU facility and hospital beds are available,” he said. He added that in 90% of the Covid-19 cases, patients are asymptomatic and only 4 to 5% of them are being hospitalised. The number of serious cases is negligible, he said, adding, “Though the numbers are within limit, they have kept hospital beds and other things ready.”

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News Network
January 10,2022

Mangaluru, Jan 10: Dakshina Kannada Member of Parliament and Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel tested positive for COVID-19 on January 10.

In a tweet, Mr. Kateel said he has tested positive for COVID-19, and he is asymptomatic. Those who have come in contact with him in the last few days should get themselves tested, he added.

This is the second time Mr. Kateel has tested positive for COVID-19. He was earlier in quarantine during the first wave of COVID-19 in 2020.

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News Network
January 11,2022

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Bengaluru, Jan 11: Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka assembly, Siddaramaiah on Tuesday charged the ruling BJP with not implementing the Mekedatu project to expand its political base in Tamil Nadu.

Joining the padayatra organised by the Congress party demanding speedy implementation of the project on its third day, Siddaramaiah said: "To make its roots stronger in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, the ruling BJP is not implementing the project in the state. They are betraying the people of Karnataka for political gains. The padayatra is being organised not to give BJP any opportunity in this regard. There is only the state's interest in conducting the padayatra."

Reacting to state Home Minister Araga Jnanedra's warning that the Congress will have to take responsibility if there is a spurt in cases and a lockdown has to be announced, Siddaramaiah dubbed it as an irresponsible statement.

"Previous lockdowns have pushed the life of the common public to the brink. If at all the government wants to announce a lockdown, let them release compensation to organised and unorganised sector workers," he said.

The party workers from 11 assembly constituencies have arrived in Kanakapur city to participate in the padayatra. Party workers from Hassan, Mandya, Tumakuru, Chikkaballapur and Kolar will join the padayatra in the coming days. People are coming forward to join the rally voluntarily. This shows their interest in the Mekedatu project, he explained.

The BJP in Karnataka didn't show any interest in implementing the project between 2008 and 2013 when it was in power. "We came to power in May 2013. With the intention to implement it by September, we prepared a DPR and presented it before the Cauvery Water Tribunal. When we were in power, the BJP government at the Centre didn't allow us to take up the project. Now, the BJP is at the Centre as well as ruling in the state. People have elected 25 MPs from the state so why has it not been implemented," questioned Siddaramaiah.

"We are not scared of FIRs. The BJP cannot threaten us by lodging cases. Why are there no cases against Union Ministers of State Shobha Karandlaje, Bhagavanth Khooba who took part in public functions and rallies?" he said.

One lakh masks have been distributed in the padayatra.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is not able to sleep with the response that the Congress is getting and he is trying to stop this at any cost, he said.

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