Mysuru, April 7 (IANS) The drug-making plant of pharma major Jubilant Life Sciences at Nanjangud near here has been shut down after it was suspected to have been infected by coronavirus from a container that came from China with raw materials, an official said on Tuesday.
“We have ordered closure of the plant and sealing of the entire premises after some of its employees tested Covid-19 positive after a virus infected container came from China in March,” Mysuru Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar told reporters here.
Nanjangud is about 30 km from Mysuru.
“We have also quarantined the plant’s staff and their families at their homes while the affected patients are under treatment at a designated hospital in Mysuru,” Sankar said.
Of the 35 Covid cases in Mysuru till Monday, one-third of them are estimated to be the company’s employees working at the plant.
In an e-mail to IANS, the Noida-based pharma company said the integrated plant operations were suspended last week and all its personnel were under self-quarantine.
“The tainted container has been sent for forensic test to find if its surface material carried the virus as it was shipped from Covid-hit China from where the company imports applied pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs),” Sankar added.
The decade-old plant has about 1,400 permanent and temporary employees.
The company got the plant disinfected by a certified agency to make the place safe and healthy.
“Mysuru has accounted for the second highest number (35) of Covid positive cases after Bengaluru with 59 out of 175 cases registered in the state till Tuesday noon,” a health official said.
Incidentally, the company donated Rs 25 lakh to the state’s CM Relief Fund, set up to mobilise resources to fight the virus fallout.
“We value the health and safety of our employees and the community. We are working to ensure their needs are met and following the government protocols to mitigate the crisis,” said the company in a statement here.
The company also distributed 7,000 masks and 325 litres of sanitisers to health and administrative staff in the state.