Karnataka reports second COVID-19 fatality; Total positive

cases rises to 55 (Eds: Adds details, combines related stories) Bengaluru, Mar 26 (PTI) A 70-year old woman, who died after being found positive for the coronavirus in an initial test, has become Karnataka's second COVID-19 fatality with results confirming the infection on Thursday as the total number of affected by the contagion in the state rose to 55, the health department said.

Results of three other people, including a 35 year-old man from Mysuru with no travel and contact history so far, returned positive on Thursday, besides that of the woman who died on Wednesday, it said.

However, the man was with quality assurance section of a pharmaceutical company in Nanjangud and had come in contact with many healthcare professionals.

'Till date 55 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed which includes 2 deaths and 3 discharges,' the department in a bulletin said.

It said, as many as 50 positive patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and are stable.

Out of the 55 case, six are transit passengers of Kerala who had landed in airports in the state.

According to the department, the 70-year old woman, a resident of Chikkaballapura district who returned from Mecca in Saudi Arabia on March 14, died on March 24 at a designated hospital here.

On Wednesday, the government had said the woman had tested positive initially but it was waiting for a final confirmatory report, which eventually came on Thursday, as the nation-wide COVID-19 toll was put at 16.

Her funeral rites were completed with all the precautionary measures as per the guidelines issued by the Centre for COVID-19 suspect deaths, it added.

Earlier this month, a 76-year old Kalaburagi man died 'due to co-morbidity and was also tested positive for COVID- 19,' becoming the country's first coronavirus fatality.

On the man from Mysuru, the department said he has been isolated at designated hospital in Mysuru and detailed investigation was under process.

'Seven primary contacts have been traced and are under house quarantine,' it added.

On the other fresh cases, it said a 64-year old man from Anantapura in Andhra Pradesh, who returned from France on March 1, has tested positive.

Later he had travelled to Himachal Pradesh, Puttaparthi and arrived in Bengaluru on March 31, the bulletin said, adding he was being treated at a designated hospital in Bengaluru Rural District.

A 45-year old man from the city and contact of a patient who earlier tested positive has also been confirmed for the infection.

The department said contact tracing has been initiated for all the cases.

Among the 55 positive, as many 35 have been reported from Bengaluru, five from Dakshina Kannada, three each from Kalaburgai, Chikkaballapura and Mysuru, two from Uttara Kannada and one each from Kodagu, Dharwad, Davangere and Udupi.

Three of them are discharged patients in the state capital while one death each has been reported in Kalaburgari and Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, an order has been issued by the Karnataka government allowing all Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs) to practice tele-medicine consultation with certain restrictions, keeping in view the lockdown across the state.

The government has also directed officials to take strict action under the Karnataka Epidemic Disease (Covid-19) regulations 2020 against landlords or house-owners forcing doctors, paramedical staff or healthcare personnel to vacate their houses.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who on Thursday held a videoconferencing with Deputy Commissioners of all districts regarding measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19 and for the implementation of lockdown, asked them to take required stringent measures to see that people remain in home and don't come out unnecessarily.

Asking officials to strictly enforce the lock down, he told authorities to even consider arresting those who violate it.

The CM also directed officials to ensure that banks and financial institutions postpone the payment of installments of loan; and see to that all essential agricultural equipment, fertilisers and pesticides are available to farmers.

Asking officials to ensure that private clinics across the state functions, Yediyurappa said, all essential items should made available to people near their houses.

Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar has announced that 31 fever clinics will start functioning at different locations across Bengaluru and those who have returned from foreign countries in last two months and their first and secondary contacts can get their health tested here.

In the next ten days, around 25,000-30,000 people are expected to be tested in these clinics, he said.

From January 21 till date, a total of 1,25,000 people have come to Bengaluru from foreign countries and all their travel details are available with the government. Only 1,500 among them were made to undergo coronavirus test.

Now all those who traveled from foreign countries will be made to undergo tests and there by eliminate any fear in their minds, the Minister added.

In Mangaluru, the district Wenlock hospital will be turned into a dedicated facility for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, Dakshina Kannada district-in-charge Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary said.

Another report from Mangalur said Congress Rajya Sabha MP Oscar Fernandes has granted Rs 1 crore from his MP local area development (MPLAD) fund for the efforts of Udupi district administration against the spread of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the state Congress president demanded that both state and central governments convene a meeting of opposition leaders to discuss measures for controlling the spread of COVID-19 and managing the situation. PTI KSU SHRI KSU SHRI