Numbers continue to rise in Karnataka's biggest Covid-19 cluster as source of virus remains mystery
Nanjangud in Karnataka's Mysuru district has emerged as the biggest cluster of Covid-19 in the state. At least 36 out of the 48 of the Covid-19 cases in Mysuru district are linked directly or indirectly to the cluster involving employees of a pharmaceutical company Jubilant Generics.
Particularly one person, Patient 52 - who is an employee of the company - has been identified as the main source of virus to the rest of the positive individuals in Nanjangud. However, it is still not clear how Patient 52 got the infection.
Patient 52 exhibited symptoms from March 20 and tested positive for novel coronavirus on March 26. Since then several people, who came in his contact, have also tested positive for the virus. But the source of P52's virus remains unknown as he has no history of any international travel, neither did he come in contact with anyone who might have come from abroad.
The Chinese consignment:
One theory is that the virus came from a Chinese consignment received by Jubilant Life Science. As per sources, Patient 52 received the consignment for the company on March 15. He started exhibiting symptoms of the virus like high fever by March 20 and tested positive for novel coronavirus on March 26.
However, the company - Jubilant Generics - has dismissed the claim. According to the company, Patient 52 never came in contact with the said consignment.
"P52, who was the first positive case of Covid-19 from our Nanjangud facility, never had any direct contact with any such raw material nor had any role in receiving, transporting or storage of any raw material in the company plant premises," the company said in a statement.
The company, in its statement, also said that the raw material was transported via a sea route over three weeks in normal temperatures. The company quoted a study by the New England Journal of Medicine to claim that the Covid-19 virus cannot survive on a surface for more than 72 hours, hence it could not have come from the raw material.
Test results awaited, company suspends operations
Authorities have taken samples of several raw materials received by the company and have sent them to National Institute of Virology, Pune for testing. While the results are awaited, the company has suspended all operations at the Nanjangud plant.
Patient 52 cured
While the authorities remain baffled with the source of Patient 52's infection, the doctors have cured him and discharged him from the hospital.
As per the deputy commissioner, Mysuru P52 is the second person to be discharged after being treated for Covid-19 in Mysuru.
"P52 has been discharged today as per protocol. He was the first positive from the Jubilant Generics plant. He's the second patient to be discharged in Mysuru. I would like to thank all the doctors, paramedics and supporting staff of Covid hospital who ensured his recovery," the deputy commissioner said.