The sudden spike in the number of coronavirus cases in Bengaluru have put experts in the city thinking if the state government will have to impose another lockdown in the capital city.
In this regard, Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu on Tuesday (June 23) said the government might have to impose a lockdown in the city, after consulting experts, if the situation continues.
“If the situation continues like this, in the days to come we may have to think about lockdown… If the cases increase to a higher number, by consulting experts and bringing it to the notice of the Chief Minister,we may have to think about enforcing lockdown. No decision has yet been taken,” Sriramulu told reporters in Bengaluru.
He urged people to cooperate to control the spread of the coronavirus by following measures in place to contain it.
Concerned over the increase in COVID-19 cases in the city, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had on Monday directed officials to implement lockdown measures strictly in certain clusters in Bengaluru which have reported more number of infections.
The city civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had also issued an order sealing the busy K R Market and Kalasipalya Market here for 15 days.
Karnataka on Tuesday reported 322 new cases of coronavirus and eight fatalities, pushing the infection count to 9,721 and death toll to 150. The day also saw 274 patients getting discharged in the state after recovery.
Referring to the increasing number of cases in Bengaluru, Sriramulu said till now asymptomatic cases were also admitted at dedicated hospitals. But from now on, they would be treated at community halls, schools, marriage halls, hotels and Haj Bhavans, which have been converted into COVID Care centres (CCC), he said.
“With asymptomatic patients going to CCCs, we will have more beds at dedicated COVID hospitals to treat symptomatic patients and serious patients,” he said, adding CCCs will have doctors and nurses 24X7 to take care of patients.
Noting that the government would be testing more senior citizens in the days to come, the minister said the state planned to ramp up testing on a large scale.
“We have plans to conduct 2000-3000 tests in each district and have two testing labs in each district,” he said.
Sriramulu said government has decided to take 50 per cent of beds in private hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients, while the remaining would be for those who prefer private
“Rates have been fixed for treatment of patients under the government quota and payment will be made at that rate. We have also fixed ceiling for patients wishing to get treated at private hospitals,” he said.
To a question about complaints of poor quality food and facilities for patients at certain dedicated COVID hospitals in Bengaluru, Sriramulu said, “complaints have come to my notice. I have directed officials to make necessary arrangements. I will ensure it does not recur.”
As of June 23 evening, cumulatively 9,721 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 150 deaths and 6,004 discharges, the health department said in its bulletin.
It said out of 3,563 active cases, 3,443 patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and are stable, while 120 are in ICU.
Among the eight dead- six are from Bengaluru urban and one each from Dakshina Kannada and Ballari. All are with the history of either Influenza-like illness (ILI) or Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI).
Those from Bengaluru are- four men between the ages of 40-81, and two women, aged 47 and 85.
The other two deceased are a 70-year-old man from Dakshina Kannada and a 85-year-old woman from Ballari.
Out of 322 new cases 64 are returnees from other states, while 5 are those who returned from other countries. The remaining cases include contacts of patients who tested positive earlier and those with history of SARI and ILI, among others.
Among the districts where the new cases were reported, Bengaluru urban accounted for 107 cases, followed by Ballari 53, Bidar 22, Mysuru 21, Vijapura 16, Yadgir 13, Udupi 11, Gadag nine, eight each from Dakshina Kannada and Kolar, Hasan seven, Kalaburagi six; five each from Chikkaballapura and Shivamogga, four each from Dharwad, Tumakuru, Koppal and Chamarajanagara, three each from Raichur and Uttara Kannada, two each from Mandya, Belagavi, Davangere and Haveri, and Kodagu one.
Bengaluru urban district tops the list of positive cases, with 1,505 infections, followed by Kalaburagi 1,232 and Udupi 1,088.
Among discharges Udupi tops the list with 969 discharges, followed by Kalaburagi 779 and Yadgir 567.
According to the bulletin, 5,26,538 samples have been tested, out of which 10,569 were tested on Tuesday alone.
It said 5,03,734 samples have reported as negative so far, with 9,813 reporting negative on Tuesday.
(With inputs from agencies)