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Karnataka COVID-19 wrap: As cases rise, govt says capable to handle worse, migrant workers puzzled with SMSs

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 samples tested in the state witnessed a minor dip as only 9,020 were done on Monday. The state government had earlier promised to conduct 10,000 tests per day. 

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | May 26, 2020 8:37:25 pm
karnataka coronavirus updates, karnataka coronavirus news, covid 19 karnataka, karnataka updates covid 19, latest news, coronavirus news Migrant workers wait to board a Shramik Special train from Chikkabanavara Railway Station in Bengaluru (PTI photo)

With the state recording an increased number of novel coronavirus cases everyday, the Karnataka government Tuesday assured that facilities in the state are capable of handling worse situations.

“Across the state, dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and 28,686 beds are available. Of these, as on May 26, only 1489 have been occupied by patients. Of these, 18 patients are admitted to Intensive Care Units and no patient requires ventilator facility as of now. Bed occupancy is 5.1 per cent,” S Suresh Kumar, Karnataka’s official COVID-19 spokesperson and Education Minister explained.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 samples tested in the state witnessed a minor dip as only 9,020 were done on Monday. The state government had earlier promised to conduct 10,000 tests per day. 

When contacted for a clarification on the same, a health official said, “We are testing people only as per the protocols laid by the government in consultation with the Union Health Ministry. The decrease in the number of daily tests on a particular day should not be interpreted differently.”

While 10,117 samples were tested on Sunday, 13,581 were tested on Monday.

Shramik specials: Migrants get SMS deadline to confirm identity, many puzzled

As thousands of migrants in Karnataka struggle for a train back home amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, an SMS was sent to their phones to confirm identity on Tuesday, leaving many puzzled and distressed.

“If you want to travel by Shramik trains, SMS YES followed by last 6 digits of SevaSindhu application no to 161 from registered mobile before 6 pm 26th May,” the SMS sent to migrants on Tuesday afternoon in English and Hindi read.

However, among the few who managed to respond to the text received ‘absurd replies,’ citizen activists pointed out.

“While the deadline was so close and even though some migrants who were literate enough to respond to this exercise, were more distressed to receive responses such as ‘Service is expired’ and ‘Thank you for the msg’. The government should not be playing a joke on them (migrants) who are already desperate, penniless, and homeless,” Deepanjali Naik, a member of Voice of Sarjapura told Indianexpres.com.

She added that 18 migrants from West Bengal even left Sarjapura for the railway station under the impression that they had to board the train before 6 pm.

Responding to the same, minister Suresh Kumar said, ” I will speak to the concerned authorities to give them one more chance to complete the process.”

101 fresh cases, 81 are inter-state passengers

The trend of inter-state passengers contributing most to the COVID-19 tally in Karnataka continued on Tuesday as 81 of the 101 fresh confirmed cases included those who returned to the state from other parts of the country.

According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services, 45 of them returned from Maharashtra while 21 others from Tamil Nadu. The Monday list also included people returning from Jharkhand, Gujarat, and Qatar.

As on May 26, 748 people have recovered from the infection as the state has recorded a recovery rate of 33.2 per cent.

‘5 patients under treatment for over 30 days’

The health department revealed that five active COVID-19 cases in the state are still under treatment at designated facilities a month since they tested positive.

“Karnataka had reported the first COVID-19 positive case in Bengaluru on March 8. We had crossed the 500-mark on April 24. Five patients who were tested positive during this timeframe are still under treatment. However, none is in a condition to use ventilator facilities as of now,” Suresh Kumar explained.

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