K’taka confirms 5 new COVID-19 cases, total rises to 20

Bengaluru, March 21 : Karnataka on Saturday confirmed five new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infections to 20, an official said.

"Till date, 20 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state which includes one death," Suresh Shastri, special officer in the information, education and communication (IEC) wing of the Health Department told IANS.

Four men with international travel history and a house maid are the new cases.

Karnataka's 16th positive case is a 53-year-old female domestic help of an earlier positive case, 11 the positive case.

"She is a high risk contact of patient 11 and was on strict home quarantine.

She is now admitted in designated isolation hospital in Bengaluru," said an official statement.

A 39-year-old man from Bengaluru who on Thursday returned from Amsterdam emerged as the 17th positive case in the state, he is under observation in isolation at a city hospital.

The state's 18th positive case is a 21-year-old man from the city who returned from Edinburgh, Scotland on March 17.

Similarly, a 31-year-old man from Chikkaballapura with travel history to Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the 19th positive case in Karnataka.

He returned to India on March 14.

The final case on Saturday and the 20th case of the state is a 35-year-old Mysuru man who returned to India on Thursday from Dubai.

The health department has initiated contact tracing of all the five new cases.

In an effort to intensify the fight against the contagion, Karnataka government has decided to utilize the services of 10 senior IAS officers to coordinate coronavirus containment measures.

Further, markets and malls have been directed to reduce peak hour crowding, maintain social distancing and initiate public awareness via electronic media and displays.

Online marketing services players have been ordered to provide masks and hand sanitisers to delivery boys.

"Directions have been issued to constitute teams of members belonging to revenue, police, municipality and health to visit all the home quarantined passengers to stamp on the back of the left hand palm showing the date of end of the quarantine period.

Thereby monitoring of the home quarantined persons," said the statement.

Bengaluru civic body has constituted 108 teams to visit home quarantined persons on Sunday.

The health department has also issued a notice to all apartment owners and resident welfare associations regarding home quarantine of persons who have visited COVID-19 affected countries during last 14 days.

The apartment residents have been requested to ensure strict home quarantine.

As many as 1,377 samples of symptomatic persons were collected for testing, of which 996 have returned negative.

Nearly 3,175 people are going through home quarantine across the state while 4,681 people have enrolled for observation.

A total of 1.25 lakh passengers have been thermal-screened for the virus in Karnataka till now at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in the city and the Mangaluru International Airport.

Another 5,826 passengers were also checked for the virus at Karwar and Mangaluru seaports.

Across the state, 149 people are under isolated quarantined in various hospitals.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru Metro has advised people to user its services only if it is unavoidable and essential as it will thermal screen passengers randomly.

Any passenger with fever or coronavirus symptoms will be referred to medical tests and quarantining by the state authorities.

"In the trains, capacity is limited to 150 people as alternate seats have to be left vacant and no standing passengers will be allowed.

Trains may not stop at stations which may be crowded, that is less than the expected distance of 1 metre between passengers,a the Metro said.

Bengaluru Metro will be shut on Sunday in view of the people's curfew.

Interstingly, Vijayapura district administration has decided to initiate action against local BJP leader Kiran Patil for disregarding home quarantine instructions.

He allegedly distributed masks to people on his birthday when he was supposed to be on home quarantine, after returning from Bangkok on March 16.

Patil also uploaded the mask distribution video on his facebook account.



Source: IANS