BENGALURU, Dec 26: As many as 10 passengers who returned from the UK since November 25 have tested Covid positive so far, said Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Minister K Sudhakar.
"According to information I possess, 10 people tested positive, all their samples have been sent to NIMHANS, two to three days are required for genetic sequencing... once that report is out, we will get to know whether it is the second strain, and accordingly we will follow necessary procedures for treatment," he said.
According to him, details relating to this second strain are still being deliberated and according to initial studies, another strain of this virus discovered in South Africa is far more severe than the one found in the UK.
"We can take action only after we get the reports of these 10 positive patients. As we get (them), we will take necessary steps. I appeal to the people to have faith in the government, before taking any decision we think hundred times. Protecting the health of the people is our chief concern," he said.
The minister had recently said that about 2,500 people have come to the state from UK between November 25 and December 22 in flights operated by Air India and British Airways, and efforts were on to trace them and monitor their health and subject them to tests.
Responding to criticism against the government, the minister observed that this is the very government that has achieved a recovery rate of 97.5 per cent, and brought down fatality rate to 1.22 per cent.
"After the new variant was discovered, countries like Britain and Germany have adopted stringent measures like ordering lockdown and latter enforcing curfew. What does this indicate?" he asked.
Sudhakar added that the decision to enforce curfew after 11 pm was taken keeping in mind the public interest so as to ensure that normal life is not affected.
"When almost all our festivals this year were celebrated in a subdued manner, why this outrage against this night curfew as though it is necessary for youngsters to have fun or party during the new year," he said while cautioning the opposition parties that they will be responsible if anything goes wrong.
The state government had announced to enforce an eight-day night curfew amid concerns over a new Covid-19 variant spreading in the UK, but on Thursday it finally decided to withdraw the curfew just hours before it was to be enforced.
Apparently several ministers in the cabinet took objections to the decision to enforce night curfew while the Opposition had expressed apprehensions whether it would not help in containing the virus spread, considering curfew timing was between 11 pm to 5 am. - IANS