Bengaluru, Dec 3 The Karnataka government on Friday ordered a probe into how a South African national obtained a negative RT-PCR report from a Bengaluru lab, enabling him to leave the country despite his swab results testing positive for Omicron variant.

Briefing the media after the high-level meeting summoned following the finding of the country’s first two cases of Omicron, Revenue Minister R. Ashok stated that the government has considered the issue seriously.

“As discrepancies are suspected over the South African national’s exit from Bengaluru, we have directed the Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru to initiate inquiry into the issue,” he stated.

The complaint will be lodged in High Grounds police station.

The South African national was kept in isolation at a five star hotel following his positive report at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIAL) Bengaluru. After his samples were detected with a new strain, it was sent for genomic sequencing test.

This 66-year-old person from South Africa came to Bengaluru airport on November 20 and tested positive for Covid-19. Later, BBMP sent his sample to genomic sequencing of which the result came on December 2.

All primary 24 contacts and 240 secondary contacts have been traced and samples were taken by Urban Primary Health Centre officials. While all have tested negative, they are being kept under watch.

The authorities have maintained earlier that the infected person had taken a test in another lab, tested negative, and was allowed to go to Dubai through Bengaluru airport. From Dubai, he had reached South Africa.

Ashok said: “We suspect mishandling of the case and suspect foul play in issuing a negative RT-PCR test. The investigation should give clarity.”

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