BENGALURU: At least 500 covid-19 cases have been reported in the campus of JSW Steel Ltd, India’s second largest private steel maker, in Ballari district of Karnataka making it one of the biggest clusters in the state.
As on Tuesday, at least 510 cases of infection in the mineral rich district were from JSW Steel campus in Toranagallu Village in Ballari, about 320 kms from Bengaluru. Most of the infections can be reportedly traced back to a 35-year old employee.
The Ballari district administration has classified the entire area with an expanse of around 8,000 acres and comprising about 20,000 people as a containment zone, government officials said.
Ballari reported 51 cases in the 24 hour period until 5 pm on Tuesday taking the total to 1,388 of which 755 are active, shows government data.
The rapid rise in covid-19 cases in Ballari, Dakshina Kannada and Bengaluru district, among others, has led to higher number of cases being reported in Karnataka which has confirmed 11,573 cases in the last seven days. The state has reported a total of 26,815 covid-9 cases from 8 March, when the first case was detected in Bengaluru.
Ballari has reported 554 cases in the last seven days, the third highest in the state behind Bengaluru and Dakshina Kannada that have confirmed 6,806 and 810 cases, respectively, during the same period.
Over the last five days, Ballari reported a covid-19 growth rate of 7.1% compared to the state average of 8.3%. Bengaluru’s growth rate for the same period was 13%. It takes nine days for cases to double in Ballari which is the same for the state. The source of infection in majority of the cases being reported from Bengaluru remains unknown making it harder for state authorities to contain the spread. The state government is yet to acknowledge the very real possibility of community transmission, even though some officials and doctors tacitly admit to this.
At least 905 out of the total 1,498 cases reported on Tuesday are under investigation, according to the covid-19 war room. Over 200 cases of ILI (Influenza like illnesses) and SARI (severe acute respiratory infection) have also been classified as under investigation.
Karnataka medical education minister K Sudhakar said that he has written to the Centre seeking approval for Nanjangud-based Jubilant Generics to produce remdesivir,a drug that is used to treat covid positive persons. Jubilant was one the biggest covid-19 clusters in the state and accounted for majority of the cases in Mysuru district but has since turned green after all those associated have recovered.