Karnataka logs 1,267 new Covid-19 cases, record surge for second successive day
Karnataka for the first time recorded more than 1,000 Covid-19 positive cases since the first case in the state was registered on March 8. On Sunday, the state recorded 1,267 new coronavirus cases with Bangalore (urban and rural) accounting for a whopping 910 of those new cases. The state till date has recorded 13,190 Covid-19 cases which include 207 deaths and 7,507 people being discharged after being cured.
Revenue minister R Ashoka on Sunday announced a new tagging system whereby anybody under quarantine will have to compulsorily wear it for two weeks. If anybody tries to remove the tag, it will send such data to a central monitoring system. “We are working on this and it would be implemented shortly to ensure that nobody in quarantine jumps it by leaving their cell phone at home.”
This is said to be similar in technology to ones used in ankle monitors in the USA though the minister refused to provide further information on this.
On the record spike in the state, a worried health department official who did not want to be named – as he is not authorised to speak to the media – said that while increased testing seems to be one of the reasons for the spike, on the other hand in the state capital Bangalore at least ‘it looks like it has reached community transmission stage’.
The state government has taken a number of measures over the last couple of days including sealing four major parts of the city, closing some busy market hubs, ordering full curfew from dawn to dusk on Sundays and various other measures.
Meanwhile, leader of opposition in the assembly and former CM Siddaramiah demanded a white paper from the state government on Covid-19 management. Alleging that there were irregularities to the tune of Rs 3,300 crores in the procurement of medical equipment required to combat and contain the pandemic he urged the government to release full details of all purchases made and money received from the Centre.
Claiming that there has been irregularities in purchase of PPE kits, masks, oxygen cylinders and ventilators, Siddaramiah claimed that these purchases have been made at double the market price “The finance department has objected to the same and the CM should clarify on the issue,” he claimed in a release.
He also said that the number of tests done has reduced in the state from 16,000 per day to 11,000 per day over the last 15 days. Stating that while 9,200 ventilators were required on an emergency basis he claimed that only 1,500 are available. “The state had asked for 33,000 ventilators from the Centre but only 90 have been provided.” State government officials were not available for comment on Sunday to respond to Siddaramiah’s charges.