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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

50 UK returnees to Karnataka yet to be traced: Here is how multiple agencies are tracking them

Passengers returning from the UK were supposed to submit their phone numbers at the airport, and once home, report to the nearest Covid testing centre.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru |
Updated: December 30, 2020 8:02:38 am
Bengaluru International Airport, Bangalore, Domestic FlightsThe agencies have managed to trace 197 such people in the last 24 hours, while 50 ‘remain incommunicado’, officials said. (File)

The Karnataka government has roped in the Bengaluru police, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) to trace those United Kingdom returnees who have not yet reported for Covid testing.

The agencies have managed to trace 197 such people in the last 24 hours, while 50 ‘remain incommunicado’, officials said.

Passengers returning from the UK were supposed to submit their phone numbers at the airport, and once home, report to the nearest Covid testing centre. Some returnees, however, gave the wrong contact information, officials said.

According to police sources, they have collected the passengers’ phone numbers and other details from the FRRO, and are tracing them through Call Details Record (CDR) and cell tower triangulation. Officers said many of them are using UK phone numbers, and are being reached out to on WhatsApp.

DCP (central) M N Anucheth, who has been appointed the nodal officer to track returnees, told Indianexpress.com that the technical team has managed to track many people, while about 50 more remain to be found. “We are using technical support to track them as well,” Anucheth said.

State health minister K Sudhakar said the passengers will be traced within 48 hours. “We have information about the people who have returned from the UK and the police and other agencies are on the job,” he said.

According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, 2,127 international passengers arrived from the UK. As many as 1,766 who arrived in Karnataka from there have undergone RT-PCR tests so far. Of these, 27 tested positive, 1,384 tested negative and reports of 355 are still awaited.

On Tuesday, three UK returnees to Bengaluru tested positive for the new UK variant genome of Sars-Cov-2 virus, according to the initial results of genome sequencing released by the Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog) labs.

India has so far detected six cases of the mutant coronavirus that was first discovered in the UK, which is said to be more infectious than the one that first caused the Covid-19 pandemic.

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