Mysuru mystery: Govt orders probe into source of Nanjangud COVID-19 cluster

Of the 88 cases reported in Mysuru, 73 are linked to Jubilant Generics in Nanjangud

nanjangud cluster (File) MLA Harsha Vardhan (man in blue shirt) with district in-charge minister V. Somanna and government officials. pharmaceutical factory in Nanjangud | By special arrangement

The Karnataka government has ordered a probe into the source of the COVID-19 infection in the Nanjangud cluster in Mysuru district.

An order issued by Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar on Friday states that the Jubilant Generics factory in Nanjangud is responsible for Mysuru district turning into a COVID-19 hotspot, despite the best containment measures being in place.

The government has directed IAS officer Harsh Gupta, the nodal officer for COVID-19 containment in Mysuru district, to probe the source of infection and the role of the pharma company in the spread of the virus. The government has sought a report within a week.

Out of the total 88 COVID-19 cases reported in Mysuru district, 73 are linked to Jubilant Generics in Nanjangud.

On March 26, a 35-year-old patient (P52), an employee of Jubilant Generics, tested positive for COVID-19. The first case reported from Nanjangud, P52 had no travel or contact history.

Within 10 days, as many as 24 employees of the company and their primary contacts (family members and relatives) tested positive, qualifying it as a cluster case. But even as the number of cases spiked, the district administration failed to ascertain the source of the infection.

A consignment from China that landed in the factory was initially suspected to be the source of the infection, a claim vehemently denied by the company. The samples of the raw material (consignment) too has tested negative, informed the district administration, which remained clueless about how P52 had contracted the infection.

The company, in its statement, denied that P52 or any of the employees had travelled abroad in the last six months. It also stated that the imported consignment (samples) had tested negative for COVID-19.

The local residents, led by Nanjangud MLA Harsha Vardhan, have been demanding a thorough probe as they hold the company responsible for the spread of the pandemic. However, only a probe can solve the mystery.