Karnataka reported a whopping 5,030 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Thursday (July 29), for the first time breaching the daily 5,000-mark and taking the total count to 80,863. Of the total confirmed infections, nearly 49,931 (62 per cent) are active cases. The percentage of active cases is among the highest in the country.
With the rate of positivity hovering between 18-20 per cent, Karnataka may reach the one lakh-mark in four-five days. Nearly 1,616 people have succumbed to the disease so far. As many as 97 new fatalities were reported on July 23 alone.
“Karnataka conducted 27,773 tests in a single day today. So far we conducted 11,40,647 tests across 88 labs in the state. 5,030 Covid positive cases have been reported in the state today (sic),” said Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar in a tweet.
The state, which used to conduct around 17,000 tests per day last month, has increased it to almost 28,000, as on Thursday. The government plans to ramp up testing and raise it to 30,000 by July end.
Amid rising cases, the state government was firm on not continuing the lockdown imposed over the past week in Bengaluru and other districts. Though it wanted the capital city to be back on track, people still feared to come out on streets.
The number of cases reported in the past week saw a sharp rise. Since July 16, it increased from 51,422 to 80,863 on July 23, with an average 4,200 cases per day. The government, which removed the civic body, BBMP, chief last week, tightened control on private hospitals after repeated complaints emerged alleging they rejected patients and denied treatment.
While the public healthcare system remained burdened with more patients and lesser staff, the private hospitals too faced similar concerns as many of the hospital staff tested positive and were forced to shut the OPDs. Bengaluru witnessed several patients being turned away from hospitals due to lack of hospital beds and ICUs.
A doctor associated with the state health department, hailing from the neighbouring district Ramanagara, was turned away by three private hospitals as he couldn’t produce his coronavirus test results. The hospitals turned him away despite him being critically ill and having breathing issues.
Moreover, for the first time on July 22, the health department discontinued giving out the list of all Covid-positive patients in its daily bulletin.
Meanwhile, alleged mismanagement by the administration triggered an outrage after the death of a coronavirus patient in the state. Family members of the deceased set afire an ambulance at the Belagavi Institute of Medical Science and Hospital (BIMS) hospital on July 22. Reports suggest that they even pelted stone at the hospital building.
In a separate incident, the family members attacked a government doctor for refusing to hand over the body of a Covid-positive patient. Even as the doctor followed the protocol, the relatives were unwilling to listen to him.
With nearly 100 resident doctors on frontline duty contracting coronavirus, the Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors last week wrote to the medical education minister, urging him to take utmost care in providing standard PPE kits and N95 masks to the hospital staff.
The development came amid the Opposition parties raising corruption charges against the government over the procurement of PPEs and medical kits. “Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors to undertake a symbolic protest tomorrow (July 24) by wearing black bands to work. This comes after different incidents of attacks on doctors,” they said.