A senior health department official said that the government has pulled up the district administration from the problems in testing and containment in the district.(AP)
A senior health department official said that the government has pulled up the district administration from the problems in testing and containment in the district.(AP)

With high Covid-19 positivity rate, curbs remain in Mysuru

On Monday, Mysuru reported 546 new Covid-19 cases taking the active infections in the district to 6,892. The district also reported 22 Covid related deaths, which is the second highest in the state. The district has reported 2,035 deaths so far.
By Arun Dev, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
UPDATED ON JUN 22, 2021 10:25 AM IST

Even as restrictions in most districts in Karnataka including Bengaluru were further relaxed from Monday, Mysuru, which has a Test Positivity Rate (TPR) higher than 10%, however, continues to be under lockdown.

On Monday, Mysuru reported 546 new Covid-19 cases taking the active infections in the district to 6,892. The district also reported 22 Covid related deaths, which is the second highest in the state. The district has reported 2,035 deaths so far.

According to the city administration, the numbers in the districts have come down over the last month, but not as fast as the rest of the state. Experts and health officials give multiple reasons to explain the peculiar situation in the district.

A senior health department official said that the government has pulled up the district administration from the problems in testing and containment in the district. From testing around 6,000 people every day during April, the number of average tests conducted came down to 4,000 tests in May. “Throughout the state testing was ramped up, while in Mysuru it was lacking. This has been taken up with the concerned officials and now the testing has increased,” the official said.

Talking about the tracing and tracking in the state, a newly appointed official in the district, who didn’t want to be named said that the tracing strategy in Mysuru needs to be revamped. “We are tracing less than 4 primary contacts as of last week. The healthcare workers are facing problems because people are not sharing details with them, but we are not ramping up the process. We want to increase tracing to up to 8-10 contacts and ensuring containment zones are created,” he added.

As several violations were reported among those patients isolating themselves at home, the district admiration is mulling over shifting patients to Covid care centres.

While the government has pulled Mysuru administration for its failure in the testing, tracing and containment, district administration claims the presence of a new mutant could be the reason for the higher caseload in the state.

In its attempt to understand the situation in samples collected from Covid-19 patients has been sent for genome sequencing in Nimhans in Bengaluru. While the authorities expect that this will throw some light into whether any particular variant is resulting in the higher caseload in the state.

According to a senior district health department official, there is a strong suspicion that the Delta variant is behind the spread in the state. The number of cases where the family members are getting infected soon after a person from the family testing positive is looked at as a sign of the possibility of the variant causing the problems.

“We can’t be certain about this. Only after the results from the labs are available, we can say which variant is causing the problem. At the same, the medical professionals in Mysuru have been pointing at symptoms like an increase in Covid cases among non-diabetic patients, which could be a cause for concern,” the official added.

While Mysuru is struggling to keep its number under control, on Monday, the Karnataka government relaxed the norms in six more districts. As per the order, in these districts, hotels and restaurants are allowed to open with 50% capacity and shops to stay open till 5 pm, among other relaxations.

“After considering the weekly moving average positivity rate of districts as of June 26 and also taking into account consistent declining trend of the case positivity rate in certain districts, hereby includes places Udupi, Bengaluru Rural, Shivamogga, Ballari, Chitradurga and Vijayapura districts under Category I districts. Consequently, all additional activities permitted for Category I districts until 5 am 05-07-2021 will be applicable for the aforementioned districts also,” read a government order.

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