Amid the number of new cases of Covid-19 increasing across Karnataka, the state government is likely to scrap the mandatory Covid-19 test for asymptomatic travelers who come to their homes from other states and countries.
Meanwhile, 135 new cases have been reported in the state between Tuesday and Wednesday. Of these 135 new cases, as many as 114 are Maharashtra returnees. Karnataka also recorded three related deaths, taking the total number of infections to 2,418 and the death toll to 47, as the state tested over 12,690 samples on Wednesday. The state is also set to achieve its target of setting up 60 labs by the end of this month.
"We tested over 12,690 samples today. We had expected to cross 10,000 samples by the end of May, but we have already crossed [the target]. Karnataka has got permission for 60 testing labs, out of them 59 are already functioning. The one left will start in two days," Minister S Suresh Kumar, who is spokesperson for COVID-19 in Karnataka, told reporters.
A total of 241,608 samples have been tested so far, out of which 12,694 were tested on Wednesday alone. So far, 2,35,876 samples have been tested negative, and out of them, 12,399 reported negative on Wednesday.
While the likely decision to scrap the Covid-19 test for returnees comes as part of “conserving test kits”. The consensus, according to a report, is that these travelers remained healthy without symptoms in Covid-19-affected areas for over two months; so, tests should be reserved for those who are ill and showing symptoms of the disease.
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An analysis of data from an ongoing door to door survey in the state, however, shows that at least one in every three households in Karnataka is vulnerable to Covid-19.
As of May 27 evening, cumulatively 2,418 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 47 deaths and 781 discharges, the Health Department said in its bulletin. It said, out of 1,588 active cases, 1,574 patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and are stable, while 14 are in Intensive Care Units.
"Imported cases, returnees from other states and some from other countries, continue to add to the state'’s tally of positive cases in large numbers," the minister said. Seventeen patients were discharged on Wednesday. Among the three deaths reported was a 69-year-old woman from Yadgiri district, who was a returnee from Maharashtra, brought dead to the designated hospital in the district May 20 and tested positive for COVID-19. The others were a 49-year-old man from Bidar, diagnosed with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection and admitted to the designated hospital with complaints of fever, cough and breathlessness and known case of Diabetes Mellitus. The third was an 82-year-old man from Vijayapura, who was a contact of another positive patient. He was admitted to a designated hospital with complaints of fever, cough breathlessness and chest pain, and died on May 26.
Of the 135 newly confirmed cases, 114 are returnees from neighboring Maharashtra, three from Tamil Nadu, and one each from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Delhi. Two are returnees from foreign countries: one each from the UAE and Nepal. The remaining cases include 10 contacts of patients who earlier tested positive and one returnee each from Haveri and Davangere districts.
Among the districts where the new cases were reported, Kalaburagi accounted for 28, followed by Yadgiri 16, Hassan 15, Bidar 14, Dakshina Kannada 11, and Udupi 9. There were six each from Bengaluru Urban and Davangere, five each from Uttara Kannada and Raichur, four each from Belagavi and Chikkaballapura, three each from Chikkamagaluru and Vijayapura, Bengaluru Rural 2 and one each from Ballari, Mandya, Kolar and Tumakuru. Bengaluru urban district still tops the list of positive cases with a total of 282 infections, followed by Mandya 255 and Kalaburagi 185. Among discharges too, Bengaluru urban tops the list with 151, followed by Belagavi 89 and Mysuru 88.
50% of Indian population could be infected by December: NIMHANS Neurovirology head
National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences’(NIMHANS) neurovirology head and nodal officer in the Karnataka Health Task Force for COVID-19, Dr V Ravi, said that there will be a spike in Covid-19 positive cases after the lockdown 4 ends.
“The country has not yet witnessed the spike in cases. The numbers will go up from June onwards after Lockdown 4.0 ends on May 31, and there will be community spread. By December-end, half of India’s population is likely to be infected with the virus, but the good news is that 90% of them will not even know that they have got the infection,” Dr Ravi said.
“It’s only 5-10%of cases that will have to be treated with high-flow oxygen and only 5% would require ventilator support,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)
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