The steep rise in COVID-19 cases is not limited to the Karnataka capital anymore as the coronavirus is gradually spreading to 10 other districts in the state, including Tumakuru, Kalaburagi and Mysuru. What is worrying is that none of these districts have the necessary health infrastructure to tackle the increasing number of patients.
According to a report in News 18, the districts in Karnataka accounted for 56 per cent of the fresh COVID cases on Friday (May 7). In mid-April, Bengaluru was the worst hit in the state, responsible for nearly 70 per cent of the total cases.
The tables seem to have turned as 10 districts in the state have been recording a major surge in COVID cases, largely triggered by large-scale inter-district travel movement during the Ugadi festival, according to members of Karnataka’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
In fact, according to the TAC chairman, Dr M K Sudarshan, people travelling from Bengaluru to other districts have infected people in the districts, especially Hassan, Belagavi and Mysuru.
“Surge in other districts is caused partly by the local spread of infection and partly by migration from the epicentre,” he added.
The rise of infections in north and east Karnataka stemmed from people coming in from Telangana and Andhra, while the surge in south Karnataka spiked after mass movement from Kerala, said TAC members.
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Unfortunately, the health infrastructure systems in the districts are unable to cope with the deluge of patients. The death of 24 COVID patients due to lack of oxygen seems to worry doctors and district health officers. North Karnataka districts suffer from shortage of Remdesivir, oxygen, testing kits, beds and human resources.
To solve these issues at the local level, Dr Sudarshan suggested setting up district-wise advisory committees to help district commissioners to undertake measures to counter the spread.