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COVID-19 Karnataka wrap: CM directs officers to prevent tax evasion; Day 4 sees liquor sales worth Rs 165 cr

With as many as 705 positive COVID-19 cases recorded in the state till date, the fatality rate in Karnataka is at 4.26 per cent.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: May 7, 2020 8:33:50 pm
karnataka coronavirus cases, covid 19 karnataka, karnataka coronavirus news, india coronavirus, latest news, covid 19, indian express Migrants arrive at Bengaluru’s Majestic Bus Stand to leave for their native places. (PTI)

The death toll due to the novel coronavirus pandemic in Karnataka rose to 30 on Thursday after a 55-year-old woman in Davanagere succumbed to comorbidities.

According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services, the patient (P-694) was suffering some diabetes and hypertension. “She was admitted to a designated hospital in Davangere after she was diagnosed with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and was on a ventilator. She passed away on Thursday (May 7) taking the total death toll in Karnataka to 30, Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, who is Karnataka’s official COVID-19 spokesperson said.

With as many as 705 positive COVID-19 cases recorded in the state till date, the fatality rate in Karnataka is at 4.26 per cent. Among the 12 new cases confirmed on Thursday, three each were from Davangere, Kalaburagi, and Bagalkote, while one new case each was recorded in Bengaluru, Dharwad and Belagavi districts.

Among 12 patients who recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours, three are from Bidar, two each from Kalaburagi, Vijayapura and Bengaluru, and one each from Mysuru, Ballari and Bagalkote districts. The recovery rate in Karnataka is 51.91 per cent, as at 5 pm on Thursday.

COVID-19 testing confusion: Tested negative in second test, police constable, pregnant lady shifted out of hospital

In two separate incidents, two persons — a police constable (P-650) and a pregnant lady (P-652) — who tested positive in their initial COVID-19 tests tested negative in their second test, leading to them being shifted outside dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in the state.

Health officials said that P-650 is a police constable who tested positive on May 4 after all police officers of Begur police station was referred to Jayanagar General Hospital for COVID-19 testing, according to the orders by the Health Commissioner.

“However, it was found that two ICMR Specimen Referral Forms (SRF) for were filled with the same name and address. Only the mobile numbers were different,” a statement from the health department read.

The statement further mentioned, “It was found that the phone number attached in the SRF belonged to a different person and not P-650.On verification of the documents it is seen that, the list of Police personnel provided to Jayanagar General Hospital there were two police personnel with same mobile numbers. The two ICMR Specimen Referral Forms filled at Jayanagar General Hospital gives the same name with different mobile numbers. The samples of both persons were taken. Once the P-650 was shifted to COVID designated hospital other person was facility isolated.”

Meanwhile, repeat samples of both the officers have been sent for confirmatory testing and the officers are isolated in a designated facility.

“Remedial action will been initiated once the final confirmatory reports are received from the labs. As of now, both the persons are facility isolated. Disciplinary action will be initiated against the concerned officials responsible for the confusion,” health officials added.

At the same time, the pregnant lady (P-652) aged 30 years also underwent a similar experience.

According to the health department, she (P-652) had visited a private hospital in Bengaluru for a regular health checkup as her delivery was due this month. Swab samples were taken as routine practice as part of lab investigation before taking her for caesarean section. “The sample was sent to Dr Lal PathLabs, an ICMR-approved private lab. On May 4 late evening, the lab report confirmed the sample positive for COVID-19. She was taken to Victoria Hospital, a dedicated COVID-19 hospital in an ambulance where a second sample was taken and sent for testing at BMRCI after which it was found she was negative on May 6 for the novel coronavirus,” Suresh Kumar explained.

He added that the patient was discharged out from the COVID-19 hospital to a private nursing home of her choice. “A confirmatory sample has been taken again on Thursday of which the result is awaited. All her primary contacts (family members) have been tested and found to be negative. They are also in institutional quarantine at the private nursing home,” Suresh Kumar said.

Facing flak, Karnataka govt decides to restart train services for migrants

Following outrage by the opposition leaders, several NGOs and activisits for cancelling Shramik Special trains for migrant workers on Wednesday, the Karnataka government Thursday decided to resume services of the same from Friday.

According to sources, N Manjunath Prasad, a nodal officer for inter-state travel, has written to the Railways seeking a total of 13 trains to various States from May 8 to May 15.

As many as eight Shramik Special trains had left Bengaluru between Sunday and Tuesday, carrying 9,586 passengers to Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, 2.13 lakh persons have registered on the Seva Sindhu platform opting to go out from the state, of which not more than 13,000 people will get a chance to do so if all trains are approved by the receiving states.

Explaining the selection process, Suresh Kumar said, “The nodal officers will primarily focus on migrant labourers working in construction sites. Based on Aadhaar cards, all details related to their whereabouts are with the police department who will coordinate with other departments to facilitate their travel, once approved.”

Indianexpress.com had earlier reported that some of them had started walking their way back to their natives in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand after the government decided to cancel their trains.

CM directs officers to prevent tax evasion

Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa Thursday instructed Commercial Tax Officers to take stringent measures to prevent tax evasion in the wake of economic activities resuming in State as lockdown restrictions were eased.

Karnataka CM Yediyurappa held a meeting with officials regarding Covid-19 situation in the state.

Reviewing the progress of the Commercial Taxes Department, Yediyurappa said, “Severe action should be taken against those who use duplicate e-way bills, and misuse the time limit provided for goods transportation, among other issues.” He further directed officials to bring back normalcy in tax collection which would have been affected due to the lockdown.

“However, businessmen and vendors should not be given unnecessary trouble, as economic activities have just begun,” he suggested.

Lockdown relaxation: Excise dept generates Rs 628.6 cr from liquor sales

The Karnataka Excise Department collected a whopping Rs 628.6 crore from liquor sales in the state, since the functioning of alcohol outlets resumed from May 4 after the lockdown.

While the most revenue was generated on Wednesday (Rs 231.6 crore), the sales on Thursday alone contributed Rs 165 crore. Interestingly, copies of some liquor bills from Bengaluru exceeding Rs 50,000 had gone viral on Monday after which action was initiated by the Excise Department for violation of license rules.

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