Mysuru: Jubilant Generics pharmaceutical company of Nanjangud in Mysuru district, which became the epicentre for the largest Covid-19 cluster in Karnataka, contributing a whopping 74 of the 96 Covid cases in Mysuru, officially reopened on Monday.
The company began sanitising the premises on Thursday.
Mysuru deputy commissioner Abhiram G Shankar told Deccan Chronicle that the factory was permitted to reopen by the government after taking the opinion of ICMR.
After a tedious quarantine, over 1500 employees resumed work as per the government guidelines.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, 32 year old Nanjangud-based employee Raju (name changed) said, “There is no fear or anxiety to get back to work, for neither me nor to those who were infected. Even our family members are fine.," he said.
Among the 96 Covid cases that erupted in Mysuru, 74 were from the Jubilant cluster including 15 in Mysuru and 59 in Nanjangud (34 in 14 villages in Nanjangud rural and 25 in Nanjangud town). It needed 28 places including 14 villages to be declared as containment zones in Nanjangud taluk alone.
Four cases are active in Mysuru including a person who returned from Ireland, three from Maharashtra. They are treated at designated hospital.
However, the exact cause of infection related of the Jubilant cluster has remained a mystery so far.
The first case in the cluster, Patient P52 had did not have a travel history nor had he met anyone who had travelled abroad. Samples of raw materials imported from China, by the company tested negative too, from the tests conducted by the National Institute of Virology. According to government sources, 9 out of 10 foreigners who had come to company in February who were contacted through Union Ministry of External Affairs, have been found to be negative for Covid 19 according to government sources.
Senior IAS officer Harsh Gupta, who was asked to investigate the case, states in his report that since it was almost one and a half months since the first case was reported, he couldn’t get certain antibody tests done to find the age of the infection and hence he couldn’t nail the first case of the cluster. There were four or five initial cases along with P52 to know the root cause of the infection. With the company being closed and the employees being quarantined, the time limit of one week given for investigation proved to be a constraint too.
Interestingly Harsh Gupta's services as special officer for Covid control operations of Mysuru district were withdrawn on 28 April.
In his report, Harish Gupta exposed several lapses related to surveillance, contact tracing and follow up of quarantine cases which led to a spike in corona positive cases in the cluster. Gupta quoted specific cases as examples. In the case of Patient 268, who was identified as a secondary contact of P52 (the first case who tested positive), he was advised home quarantine from 26 March.
But on 2 April after his division head (P86) at Jubilant was tested positive for Covid-19, P268 was identified as a primary contact of P86 and was moved to a quarantine facility under the Mysuru district administration.
There he was made to share a room with another person in the facility. P268's sample was taken for testing on 3 April, and the result received on 7 April was negative. But the patient who stayed with him in the same room tested positive for Covid-19 on April 9. Yet P268 was discharged on April 10.
Further, after knowing that the person who had stayed with him in his room at the quarantine facility was found positive, P268 got himself tested on April 12 thought he did not have any symptoms. He tested positive on April 14.
In the case of P 387, a secondary contact of P52, before he tested positive for Covid 19, he was home quarantined. At home he did not have a toilet facility and used to go for open defecation and used the local tank water for washing. The surveillance team failed to take note of that.
In another case, Gupta pointed out that Patient 265 was home quarantined since 27 March, being a secondary contact of P 52. He was taken for testing on 12 April in a bus, putting other passengers to risk. And since P 265 tested positive for Covid 19 on 14 April, all his co passengers were identified as secondary contacts.
Also home-quarantined secondary contacts were found coming on their own mode of transport for Covid testing.
And Nanjangud area was a containment and no movement zone, and essentials should have been door delivered to those home quarantined since 2- 3 percent of home quarantined people have tested positive for Covid 19....