COVID-19: Ministers not on same page on community transmission

Karjol says disease has reached third stage, Sriramulu differs; 17 new positive cases reported

March 28, 2020 11:51 pm | Updated 11:51 pm IST - Bengaluru

Even as officials have been asserting that COVID-19 community transmission has not yet begun, contradictory statements by Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol and Health Minister B. Sriramulu on the disease reaching third stage in the State has added to the confusion.

Mr. Karjol told presspersons in Bagalkot that the disease had reached third stage and it was important that people strictly followed precautions. Meanwhile, Mr. Sriramulu, speaking in Mandya, said people should “pray that the disease does not escalate to third stage”.

In fact, over the last few days, Mr. Sriramulu and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar [also in charge of COVID-19 vigil] have been making contradictory statements on issues pertaining to positive cases.

Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education), reiterated that there was no community transmission. “The random sampling study taken up by the Indian Council of Medical Research three days ago has also found that India has not reached Stage 3. This is the latest information I have,” he said.

17 new cases

Meanwhile, 17 new cases, including five each from Gauribidnur and Mysuru and four from Uttara Kannada, tested positive on Saturday. These are the first instances of cluster formations in infections in Karnataka. The number of positive cases in the State has touched 81.

While five primary contacts of another positive patient from Gauribidnur have been infected, the wife and two daughters of a patient from Uttara Kannada and another contact from the same area have also tested positive. All the five cases in Mysuru district were primary contacts of a pharma company employee. The Mysuru cases were reported by Deputy Commissioner Abhiram Sankar late on Saturday night.

Overall, 1,090 primary contacts of the 76 positive cases in the State are being monitored. “They have been divided into high-risk and low-risk patients. Those who are aged and with co-morbidities are being monitored in government-supervised quarantine centres and the rest will be isolated in homes, hotel rooms or guest houses identified by the government,” he said.

With 41 cases from Bengaluru alone, the highest number of positive cases are from the city. But, here it is not in clusters.

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