Bengaluru Urban and Mysuru feature among the top 25 COVID-19 hotspots in the country, while Chickballapur is fast emerging as one over the last 14 days. Besides, Bengaluru is also among the top seven cities with a high case load as on March 30.
These were some observations made by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in its “COVID-19 Status Health Report” on Wednesday.
Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Karnataka’s Commissioner for Health and Family Welfare, said Bengaluru is among the top seven cities in the country with the highest number of confirmed cases. According to the report, Karnataka is among the 10 States that contributes to more than 80% of India’s total COVID-19 cases. Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Punjab are the other States.
While there are multiple emerging hotspots in Karnataka with a high number of confirmed cases, where immediate containment is needed, Bengaluru is among the top seven cities in the country where more than 30 cases each have been reported. As of Wednesday, Bengaluru had 48 confirmed cases. While eight have been discharged from designated hospitals in Bengaluru, the city witnessed one death so far. According to the report, Bengaluru Urban saw 23 cases in the last 14 days alone.
On a brighter note, the Ministry recognised Karnataka for adopting best practices. Among the nine States, whose best practices have been mentioned in the report, Karnataka’s direction to those under home quarantine to send 14 selfies to the government per day, one every hour from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., using the Quarantine Watch app has been recognised. The State Health Department had announced two days ago that defaulters were liable to be shifted to a mass quarantine centre.
The report also makes mention of Victoria Hospital “being developed” as a dedicated COVID-19 facility with 1,200 isolation beds, 15 ICU beds, and 20 ventilators.
V. Ravi, senior professor and Head of Neuro-Virology at NIMHANS, said Karnataka’s case load is high because the State has been testing aggressively. “Of the total 42,000 tests conducted in the country, more than 10% have been done in Karnataka,” he said.
“Also, Bengaluru has had the highest influx of foreign passengers and it is because of this Karnataka is one of the early States where cases were reported. Efficient contact tracing is helping identifying more cases,” he said.
C.N. Manjunath, director of Sri Jaydeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and part of the State’s COVID-19 task force, said the high case load was expected as Bengaluru is the IT capital.