An 80-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 after developing severe respiratory problems, died of cardiac arrest in Gadag district on Wednesday, taking the toll in Karnataka to six.
The Gadag woman was the 166th confirmed coronavirus case, and was admitted to a designated hospital on April 7 with symptoms of severe acute respiratory infection. According to the health department, the victim was the first positive case in Gadag district.
The district authorities have quarantined four of her family members and 40 residents in her neighborhood in the Ranganwadi area of Gadag district. The government has also tested 42 people, and their reports are negative.
The woman is suspected to have contracted the infection at a family gathering on March 23, where relatives from Goa were present. She was first taken to a private doctor on March 30 with cold, cough and fever symptoms and on April 4, referred to GIMS.
On Wednesday, a 65-year-old fruit vendor from Kalaburagi died of COVID-19. This patient also suffered from Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), the Department of Health & Family Welfare Services confirmed. Kalaburgi had also reported the first coronavirus death in the country.
All six deaths reported in the state so far are of patients aged 60 and above. The other fatalities so have been reported from Tumkur, Chikkaballapura, and Bagalkote.
Meanwhile, 16 new positive COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Karnataka on Thursday, with the tally reaching 197. This includes six deaths and 30 discharges.
The state government has tested 1,176 attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat till date. According to Suresh Kumar, Karnataka education minister and state’s spokesperson for COVID-19, 976 people tested negative and 40 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.
Suresh said that the first 50 positive cases took 16 days to surface, while 50-100 took 8 days, 100-150 4 days to surface and 150-197 4 days.
Karnataka starts to test secondary contacts
From Thursday, the state health department has also started to test the secondary contacts of COVID-19 patients.
Speaking at a video press conference, Kumar said, “So far, we had been testing only the primary contacts of coronavirus patients. Starting today, we are testing secondary contacts, as per recommendations by the government task force that met today.”
The task force Wednesday had recommended that the state extend the lockdown in COVID-19 hotspots. The panel headed by Dr Devi Shetty (Chairman, Narayana Health) also suggested that schools and colleges should remain closed till May 31 and online classes should be encouraged instead, ensuring social distancing measures are strictly followed by all.
All industries, Information Technology, Biotechnology (IT, BT) and garment companies should be made to work on 50% strength. Garments workers should be allowed to stitch PPE, which are in more demand, the panel recommended.
MLAs to take 30% salary cut for one year
The Karnataka Cabinet on Thursday decided to slash 30 per cent of monthly salaries and allowances of MLAs, MLCs, ministers, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker for one year to fund the fight against coronavirus.
An ordinance to reduce the salaries by 30 per cent for one year was approved by the state cabinet headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said, “We have cut by 30 per cent salaries and allowances of all Ministers, MLAs, MLCs, also Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip, every one, for one year from April 1, amounting to Rs 15.36 crore.”
Karnataka police launches website to curb COVID-19 fake news
The Karnataka police Thursday launched a dedicated fact-check website to curb fake news on COVID-19. The public can verify the various fake news, videos, photos circulated on the social media platforms through ‘factcheck.ksp.gov.in’ website.
— Darshan Devaiah B P (@DarshanDevaiahB) April 9, 2020
The fact-check website mentions nine recent incidents, including the video of people sneezing to spread coronavirus at the Hazrat Nizamuddin mosque in Delhi, malicious message in circulation saying Muslims licked utensils to spread coronavirus, and other such fake news and videos that went viral on social media. The police have said on the website that all these messages are fake.
“Karnataka State Police has taken this initiative in collaboration with Check4Spam to counter rumours amid the coronavirus outbreak. People can utilise this portal to verify any suspected news and also upload content for verification and clarification,” the website says.
Karnataka BJP launches COVID-19 helpline:
The Karnataka BJP on Thursday launched the party helpline ‘BJP Karnataka COVID-19’ with a common phone number 080-68324040.
Member of Parliament and president of Karnataka state BJP Nalin Kumar Kateel inaugurated the helpline at the BJP office in Mangaluru.
“The BJP has also started a war room in all the districts and mandalas of the state. We distributed 20,13,910 food packets across the state and also distributed 1,96,150 face masks to needy people. Now people can contact this helpline to get immediate help by the party,” Nalin Kumar Kateel said.
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