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10 SA nationals ‘missing’, will be traced: K’taka Health Minister

"It has been reported that about 10 South Africa nationals who arrived in Bengaluru are not traceable. Their mobile phones are switched off.

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Bengaluru: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar said 10 South African nationals who arrived in the city are “untraceable, but it is not a matter of concern”, as the police are efficient enough to trace them due to their past experience during the first wave of Covid in India.

“It has been reported that about 10 South Africa nationals who arrived in Bengaluru are not traceable. Their mobile phones are switched off.

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“Inspite of this, the police are efficient enough to trace them out. They have a very good past experience of tracing out the untraceables who were infected by Covid in the first wave that hit India. So, it is not a matter of concern,” the state minister told reporters ahead of a high-level meeting convened by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with the technical experts advisory committee here.

These South African nationals arrived in the city between November 12 and 22.

The health officials have already approached the police to trace these persons to test them and send their samples for genomic sequencing if tested positive, Sudhakar said.

The minister also appealed to people to not get panicky as Omicron is not a virulent variant compared to Delta.

However, Omicron spreads rapidly, but has mild symptoms, he said adding that people should observe Covid guidelines strictly including wearing of masks and maintaining social distance, among others to avoid contracting Covid and its variants.

Sudhakar also appealed to the people to avoid attending crowded events and gatherings.

Even Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said the corporation is prepared for tackling any situation by following standard protocols.

Gupta also indicated slight changes in the Covid guidelines imposed by the state government ahead of the high-level meeting chaired by Bommai.

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