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Karnataka COVID-19 wrap: State to conduct 10k tests by May 30, CM urges migrants to stay back

Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar K said that by May 30, the number of labs testing for novel coronavirus will rise to 60 from the current 29 with a capacity to conduct 10,000 tests per day.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru |
Updated: May 5, 2020 9:04:25 pm
karnataka coronavirus cases, covid 19 karnataka, india lockdown, karnataka migrant labourers, coronavirus news india As many 3,666 samples were tested on Monday. To date, 74,664 samples have been tested in the state (Express Photo by Partha Paul)

In a bid to enhance testing facilities to identify COVID-19 cases in the state, the Karnataka government Tuesday decided to establish testing laboratories in all private and Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) medical colleges.

Confirming this, Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar K said that by May 30, the number of labs testing for novel coronavirus will rise to 60 from the current 29 with a capacity to conduct 10,000 tests per day.

According to statistics shared by the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services, as many 4,613 samples were tested on Tuesday. To date, 83,806 samples have been tested in the state.

Karnataka CM urges migrants to stay back 

Reiterating his appeal to migrant labourers to avoid travel outside the state, Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa Tuesday requested them to stay put.

“The COVID-19 situation is in control in Karnataka when compared to other states. Industrial, construction, and trade activities need to be resumed outside areas marked as red zones. Hence, labourers may avoid unnecessary travel back to their natives,” Yediyurappa said.

“Barring the red zones, business, construction work and industrial activities have to be resumed. In this background it was explained that unnecessary travel of the migrant workers has to be controlled,” he stated.

Soon after meeting representatives of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), Yediyurappa added that migrant labourers fell for rumours that resulted in them rushing back to their native places as the third phase of the nationwide lockdown began.

The CM further asked builders and real estate owners to ensure all workers are provided with necessary facilities to ensure a smooth restart for all construction and related activities in the state.

Issues related to weavers in the state were also discussed on Tuesday. The CM promised that relief measures for them would be taken after discussing with officers of the Finance Department.

Criticising the central and state governments for an alleged ‘erratic’ imposition and lifting of lockdown, former CM Siddaramaiah dubbed the act of PM Modi and CM Yediyurappa ‘inhumane.’

In a series of tweets, the Leader of Opposition of the Karnataka assembly said, “There is lot of confusion among people, especially migrants, due to erratic imposition & lifting of lockdown without clear guidelines. The way @PMOIndia & @CMofKarnataka are reacting to migrants’ issue is inhumane.”

Suggesting that the governments should have used the same to compensate ticket fare for migrants in trains and buses, he pointed out that the state and central governments insisted on fixing bus and train fares respectively for those seeking to reach back to their natives.

“Railways fall under Union list & the budget is made by Central govt. @PMOIndia directing state govt to fund 15% is astonishing. Even 85% which Central govt claims to fund is notional & not real. This notional subsidy was given even before #Covid19,” he wrote.

Health dept plans health survey for Karnataka residents, pilot begins

The Karnataka government is likely to collect health details from all residents of the state in a bid to maintain a health-related database.

Confirming this, Medical Education Minister Sudhakar said, “The state will maintain a comprehensive health register to keep a tab on various health issued faced by the population.”

According to district administration officers in Chikkaballapura, the constituency Sudhakar represents, the pilot of the survey is already underway in Gauribidanur taluk.

“The door-to-door survey has been completed in over 31 wards. We have been inquiring people including children, senior citizens and patients on their health. This also helped us find some patients symptomatic of COVID-19 after which their samples were sent for testing and further action was taken. However, there is no sign of community spread in Gauribidanur, ” an official said.

As of 12 noon on Tuesday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Karnataka is 659. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state stand at 659, including 28 deaths and and 324 recoveries.

Over 10,000 Kannadigas stranded outside India to be evacuated soon

The Karnataka state government Tuesday announced that as many as 10,823 citizens stranded in different countries outside India will be evacuated and brought back to the state, beginning May 8.

Confirming this, Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey said while some evacuees will be brought via air to Bengaluru to Mysuru while others will be brought in via sea to Karwar and Mangaluru.

“All passengers will be screened at the point of entry and shall be categorised into three before them leaving the airport/seaports. While Category A will be those who are symptomatic on arrival, Category B will comprise those who are asymptomatic but with co-morbidity or aged above 60 years. Category C will consist of asymptomatic passengers with no medical issues below the age of 60,” Pandey explained.

He added that those falling in Category A will be shifted to designated isolation hospitals (Covid Health Care Centres) where they will be under observation for 14 days, after which they will undergo a reporting period of 14 days.

Those falling under Category B will be in institutional quarantine (identified hotels/hostels) for seven days followed by another seven days of home quarantine and another 14 days reporting period.

Evacuees identified as Category C will be directed to be in home quarantine for 14 days and to observe a reporting period of 14 days further.

However, all returnees will be tested mandatorily for COVID-19 between the fifth and seventh days since arrival.

According to the approximate data shared by the Centre to Karnataka, evacuees will be from Canada, USA, UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

Death toll 29, Karnataka now has 312 active cases

With two more coronavirus-related deaths — one from Vijayapura and another from Davangere — confirmed in Karnataka, the toll rose to 29 on Tuesday. Confirming the deaths, Karnataka’s COVID-19 spokesperson and Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said that both patients succumbed to comorbidities.

“The death in Vijayapura was of a 62-year-old female patient (P-640) who suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Bronchial Asthma. She was admitted to the ICU in a designated hospital on May 3 complaining of breathlessness. She succumbed to comorbidities on May 5,” Suresh Kumar said.

The other patient (P-662) who died on Tuesday is a 50-year-old female resident of Davanagere who was diagnosed of SARI and breathlessness (Diagnosed as SARI).

Meanwhile, with 22 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the state, the total number of cases rose to 673. Of these, 12 are from Davangere, three from Bengaluru, two from Bagalkote, and one each from Ballari, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Haveri and Dharwad.

“Unfortunately, the confirmed case of coronavirus in a 40-year-old male in Savanur in Haveri is the second such case recorded in the district which was among the green zones in the state. We have identified that he contracted the infection from P-639 who is the first COVID-19 patient in the district,” Suresh Kumar added.

Claiming that Karnataka has brought down the number of cases as compared to other states, Suresh Kumar said the state is now in the thirteenth place in India. “In March, we were third on the list (with the most number of COVID-19 cases) but now we are thirteenth. Comparing state-wise daily average compounded growth rate of cases in India, Karnataka amounts to only 3.13 per cent as opposed to the national average of 5.97 per cent,” he added.

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