Missing South Africans traced; K’taka health dept heaves sigh of relief

The South African nationals, who had arrived in Bengaluru and gone incommunicado, have been finally traced by the civic and police authorities in Bengaluru, sources in the health department said on Saturday.

As many as 10 South African nationals were untraceable till Friday evening. Health department officials were worried in the backdrop of detection of the country’s first two Omicron cases in Bengaluru, amid testing of all passengers arriving to the state from the ‘high risk’ countries.

However, these 10 South African nationals were not found at their addresses and their mobile phones were also switched off. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had sought the help of the police to trace them. The joint operation has now yielded results, and all the South Africans have been tracked, and their swabs have been sent for testing.

Revenue Minister R. Ashok had stated that the missing persons would be tracked by Friday midnight.

These South African nationals had arrived in Bengaluru between November 12 and November 22.

As many as 57 persons arrived here from the ‘high risk’ during this period, including the South African national. The health department is planning to send all the samples for genomic sequencing to get clarity on the presence of Omicron virus.

The stringent measures at the airport were initiated from November 22 onwards, before these persons arrived in Bengaluru.




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