Nanjangud corona cluster crisis soon to be over

The cluster, which is the biggest in Karnataka, had caused the spread of coronavirus to 68 people

Mysuru: The biggest cluster episode of Karnataka related to Jubilant Generics pharma company at Nanjangud in Mysuru district which has had 68 cases of Covid 19 so far, seems to be coming to an end at last as the reports of just 138 members awaited.

So far, all 2098 people related to the cluster, including 1483 employees of the company and their 615 family members are tested and their results have arrived.

56 employees and 12 of their family members with 38 from Nanjangud and 30 from Mysuru have tested positive for Covid 19 since 26 March.

With so many Covid-19 positive cases reported from the Jubilant company cluster and with most of them remaining asymptomatic, anxiety has set in among the employees and employers about restarting the work.

The employers want the government to make Aadhar linked id card and health and fitness certificate compulsory for employees before they get back to work.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, an employee of Jubilant who was tested positive for Covid 19 and who has been discharged after he tested negative, said, “Neither I nor most of the employees who are tested positive from the company had any symptoms at all. While there are different plants of the company, I was the only one from our plant who was tested positive for Covid 10. So naturally that hesitance will be there to get back to work in the group as we never know who is carrying the virus. But, even before I was tested positive or even when I stayed at the hospital I did not have any sort of symptom as said. Also, now that I have been treated, tested negative for the virus and discharged, one need not be worried. We have to be hopeful that the company will take extra precautionary measures as we have no option but to get back to work to earn our bread and butter.” he said.

On the other hand, Mysuru Industries Association head Suresh Kumar said, “Rather than the employees, we employers are scared to restart companies, seeing how authorities are grilling the employers of Jubilant pharma company for their employees were tested positive for Covid 19. We are planning to propose to the government to make Aadhar linked id card and health and fitness certificate compulsory for employees before they get back to work. In Mysuru there are 26,000 industries with 3 lakh employees including 50,000 migrant daily wage workers. The industries in Mysuru are already suffering a loss of Rs 82 crore turn over per day and Rs 18 crore loss on fixed expenses including electricity, rent and others. So we have urged the government to waive off three months’ interest in loans, waive off fixed power charges, give some percentage of salary through ESI since they have provision. It will take at least two years for us to recover the loss we are incurring due to 42-day lockdown. While this is one challenge, the fear of being held responsible if any employee is tested positive is another challenge now,” he said.

So far the exact reason for the infection of the first case of cluster is not known yet as the patient had no foreign travel history. The health department has clarified that the sample of the container and its contents received by the company from China tested at National Institute of Virology has been negative.

It is said that the company had delegates from other States including Maharashtra and also from USA, Germany, Japan and even China had visited the company between 4th February and 18th February. The investigation to find the cause of infection is going on.

The “Save Nanjangud forum” convenor has written a letter to High court in this regard. The letter has been converted to a petition and there was a hearing in this regard at High Court on Tuesday.

In Mysuru, 84 people are tested positive for Covid 19. Those other than the Nanjagud cluster include two people who had severe acute respiratory infection and one of their relatives, two people who had come from Dubai and one of their relatives and one of their relatives, and ten people are religious gurus of Tablighi Jamaat who had come from Delhi to Mysuru, in January end.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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