A railway official in Bengaluru has been suspended for not revealing the foreign travel history of her son – who later tested positive for COVID-19 – and hiding him in a guest house, PTI reported on Friday.
The officer’s 25-year-old son, who came from Germany via Spain, was instructed to quarantine himself at home after he landed at the Bengaluru airport on March 13. He tested positive for coronavirus on March 18, railway spokesperson E Vijaya was quoted as saying.
The woman, an assistant personnel officer, did not inform health officials that her son had come from Germany and booked him a room in a railway guest house in Bengaluru, the spokesperson said. “She not only failed to inform authorities about her son’s return from Germany but also endangered the lives of others,” the spokesperson added.
Vijaya said as per the recent Karnataka Epidemic Act, any person with a travel history to a country affected by COVID-19 or coming in contact with any such person must alert health officials.
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“The officer chose to quarantine her son in a government rest house frequented by railway officials, posing a potential public health hazard,” Vijaya added. Another South Western Railway official said the woman “virtually hid her son to protect her family but endangered all of us”.
Officials said the guest house where the officer’s son stayed from March 13 to 15 has been closed and its staff has been kept in quarantine. “All the officers and families who stayed in the rest house are being informed to be on look out and be alert for symptoms,” the spokesperson said.
Railway officials, however, said that the officer has her own cabin and she did not come in contact with any other staff, The News Minute reported. They added that she had taken leave and did not visit the office on Monday and Tuesday, contrary to some media reports.
There are 15 coronavirus cases in Karnataka, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The total number of cases in India is now 195, which includes 32 foreigners and four deaths.