Bengaluru: A 67-year-old Bengaluru resident, who returned home from the Kumbh Mela in April, tested positive for Covid soon after and is suspected to have infected 33 others.
According to Dr Mahesh R. Gowda, head, the Spandana Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centre near Nandini Layout in West Bengaluru, the Kumbh returnee is the mother-in-law of one of the psychiatrists at the facility, and the two live in the same house.
“One of our doctor’s mother-in-law tested positive for Covid after returning from Kumbh. She was asymptomatic for a few days, but developed symptoms soon after and was tested. After she received a positive report, the doctor who works with us also got herself tested and stopped coming to work when she too was found to be Covid positive,” said Gowda.
The 40-year-old psychiatrist had displayed no symptoms of the disease as long as she had come to work before being found positive.
The 67-year-old West Bengaluru resident is believed to have infected 18 other members of her family and some among the clinic’s patients and staff at Spandana too tested positive, subsequently.
The Kumbh Mela was feared to have become a Covid super-spreader, and in many states, such as Rajashtan and Uttar Pradesh, Kumbh returnees were cited as one of the reasons for the spike in Covid cases since April.
Karnataka doesn’t have any figures on how many people have entered the state after attending the mela.
Soon after the 40-year-old psychiatrist tested positive for Covid, Gowda said the clinic screened a total of 200 people, including patients and doctors.
“We found that 12 patients had tested positive and two [more] among our staff [one admin staff and another psychiatrist]. They were also immediately isolated and are completely recovered now,” said Gowda.
According to sources, the Kumbh returnee had ‘infected’ 18 others in her family, who had also tested positive since.
As soon as it was found that the Kumbh-returnee’s daughter-in-law, who worked at the facility had tested positive, Gowda said, corporation officials came “rushing” and ensured that all Covid-19 protocols were followed.
“Both our doctors (psychiatrists), who tested positive, are fine now and have been working to provide treatment to Covid patients. We have converted our facility into a 50-bed Covid hospital,” said Gowda.
According to sources, all 18 family members of the 67-year-old who had tested positive for Covid, had not displayed severe symptoms of the disease, and are recovered now. The Kumbh returnee herself had been admitted to a private hospital and has since recovered.
“Our colleague [the psychiatrist whose mother-in-law had been to Kumbh] is also recovered and is back at work,” said Gowda.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)