Karnataka records second COVID-19-linked death: 70-year-old woman with travel history to Mecca

Darshan Devaiah BP, Ralph Alex Arakal
Explained: How the coronavirus (COVID-19) test works

Bengaluru has the highest number of cases in the state with a total of 35 cases. (Representational Image)

The Karnataka state health department Thursday announced the death of a second person due to COVID-19. According to health department officials, the 70-year-old patient had travelled from Mecca, Saudi Arabia along with her son (Patient 19) to Gauribidanur, Chikkaballapura district on March 14. She was tested positive for COVID-19.

"I regret to inform that the COVID-19 test result has come out as positive for Mallika Bai, who had succumbed to death yesterday. The govt stands committed to curb the spread of Corona Virus in the state. Please stay home, stay safe," Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar confirmed in a tweet.

According to the health department media bulletin, four new Coronavirus cases were confirmed in the state till Thursday morning taking the toll to 55. Bengaluru has the highest number of cases in the state with a total of 35 cases. While Dakshina Kannada has five cases, Chikkaballapura and Kalaburagi districts have three cases each, Mysuru and Uttara Kannada have two cases each, Kodagu, Dharwad, Davanagere and Udupi have one case each.

On March 10, the first death due to coronavirus in India was reported from Karnataka when a 76-year-old man from  Kalaburagi had tested positive for COVID-19.

Read | Following social media scare on COVID-19, Karnataka man with no symptoms commits suicide

First COVID-19 case of community transmission in state

A person from Mysuru is the first case in Karnataka due to community transmission. According to a health bulletin, the patient tested positive for COVID-19 is a 35-year-old male, resident of Mysuru. There is no travel history and contact history. However, he was with the quality assurance section of a pharmaceutical company ,Nanjangud and has been in contact with many healthcare professionals.

Explained: How SAARC countries are fighting COVID-19

"The case is isolated at a designated hospital in Mysuru. The detailed investigation is under process. Seven primary contacts have been traced and are under house quarantine," the bulletin added.

Other patients are 64-year-old male, resident of Anantapura, Andhra Pradesh State, had a history of travel to France and arrived to India on 1 March and later the case had travelled to Himachal Pradesh, Puttaparthi and arrived Bengaluru on March 21. Another person who tested positive is a 45-year-old man who is a contact of Patient 25. The case is isolated at a designated hospital in Bengaluru. Patient 25 is a 51-year-old man from Bengaluru who had traveled to London and returned to India on March 13.

BMTC to operate buses for essential services workers

BMTC buses began plying on roads in a bid to support only essential services. Passengers were asked to produce ID to issue tickets. (Express Photo-Ralph Alex Arakal)

From Thursday, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will operate 180 buses in the city for essential services workers.

This includes hospital workers as well as workers from BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited), BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board), BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) medical staff, government or private doctors, nurses, ward boys, pharmacy employees, bank officials, security guards, and blood donors.

Read | Karnataka: ‘Pass system’ for movement in Bengaluru; stamping extended

Karnataka govt to take 'strict action' against landlords forcing medical staffers to vacate residence

After several cases have come to light in which healthcare personnel, including doctors and paramedical staff, have been asked to vacate their rented residences in Karnataka due to COVID-19 scare by their landlords, the state government has directed officers in charge of district administration to take "strict penal action" against landlords/house-owners for doing the same.

Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (H&FW) has asked Deputy Commissioners of districts, BBMP Commissioner, Commissioners of Municipal Corporations, and District Deputy Commissioners of Police to take action under relevant provisions of law and to submit an action-taken report on a daily basis to the Home Department.

Karnataka CM directs officers to ask bankers to postpone payment of loan installments

Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa Thursday directed all district administrators and senior government officials to ensure deadlines to pay loan EMIs should be extended in the wake of the current situation.

"Bankers and microfinance institutions should be asked to postpone payment of loan installments," he directed officials in a video conference held with all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and top government officers across the state.

The CM also asked administrators to be tougher in implementing the curfew."There were some problems in strictly implementing the measures to keep the people stayed in their homes. Unnecessary roaming on streets by people should be completely stopped," Yediyurappa said.

Administrators were also asked to popularise "vicinity marketing" and make the people purchase essential daily items from shops, vendors, and hawkers only in their respective areas and surroundings.

The CM further instructed that private clinics shall function all over the state. "Deputy Commissioners should also take measures to make fertilizers and pesticides available for farmers. DCs should also use the funds available in their PD accounts for necessary purposes to contain COVID-19," the CM added.

52 people quarantined for non-compliance of home-quarantine advise

The Home-Quarantine enforcement team set up by the Karnataka health department has quarantined a total of 52 people from across the state for not complying with home-quarantine advice.

These include people who are primary or secondary contacts of positive cases or citizens who arrived from other countries and their immediate contacts.

9,111 counseling sessions held so far

The department has also held as many as 9,111 counseling sessions for positive cases and suspected patients hospitalised in the designated hospitals and in other quarantine measures.

Such persons will be staying at their respective quarantine measures for a minimum period of 14 days or till the successive samples of the positive case are proved negative or as per the treating physicians' advice, according to health department officials.

"This long duration of stay in isolation requires a mental booster for keeping oneself calm and quiet. Foreseeing this, the department has arranged for mental health counseling of such patients and contacts and so far 9,111 number of counseling sessions have been held," the media bulletin released on Thursday read.

Govt reaches out to public to help trace co-passengers of positive case

The Karnataka health department reached out to passengers who travelled in the same coach and train in which a patient (P 36) who tested positive for coronavirus travelled on March 17.

According to the notice, the patient had travelled in S-3 coach of Mangalore Express which departed on March 17 from Mumbai to arrive on March 18 in Batkal. "Any passengers who travelled in the same coach may please contact the helpline numbers 104, 080-46848600 or 080-66692000," the notice said.

To date, Karnataka has recorded 55 positive cases of COVID-19 out of which 35 are in capital city Bengaluru. A total of 14,066 people are in observation while 172 across the state are admitted to isolation facilities in hospitals, as on March 26.