Omicron doctor’s three discharged contacts called back to hospital

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government, taking no chance with the threat of Omicron variant’s spread in the state, has asked three contacts of a 46-year-old doctor – who was among the first to test positive for the new strain – to return to the designated hospital until their genomic sequencing results arrive, sources said.

The three contacts – all doctors – went home after testing negative in RT-PCR tests twice.

Comprising an anaesthetist, a cardiothoracic surgeon and a vascular surgeon, they were discharged on Tuesday following a negative report in RT-PCR tests but called back. After coming back to the hospital, they left for their homes the next day stating that they can’t stay in the Covid ward after testing negative twice. They also maintained that their family members have tested positive and they need to take care of them, sources said.

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However, the three were called back and kept in a different ward of the hospital. The hospital authorities maintained that the contacts of the Omicron patient were discharged but have not yet left the hospital.

Clear guidelines in connection with discharging of Omicron patients and their contacts, are yet to come and there is confusion, say hospital authorities.

There is a difference of opinion among experts and health authorities over discharge protocols for Omicron suspects. Some experts say if a patient is symptom free, has completed a quarantine period of 14 days, and tested negative two times in RT-PCR tests, they should be discharged.

However, authorities maintain that the patients can’t be sent until their genomic sequencing results are known.

The genomic sequencing reports were supposed to come on Wednesday, but were delayed as they had to re-sequenced.

A call will be taken soon on the three’s discharge, sources said.

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