2020-07-13 12:30:00

BENGLAURU: The source of infection in over 60% of covid-19 cases in Karnataka remains unknown due to lack of contact tracing efforts and inadequate resources.

Out of the total 38,843 cases reported till 5 pm on Sunday, 24,064 have been classified as ‘under investigation’, according to the Karnataka state covid-19 war room report.

This includes 3658 cases of influenza like illness (ILI) and 617 severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) that are also sub-classified as ‘under investigation’, according to the report.

Benglauru, which goes into a week-long lockdown from Tuesday evening, has reported 8807 new cases in a week and almost every case has been classified as ‘contact under tracing’, that makes the process appear as ongoing as against foregone.

The large number of cases has compounded the problems of Bengaluru and the B.S. Yediyurappa-led state government that has been accused of resting on earlier laurels and failing to create much needed infrastructure and resources to combat the surge.

“It (lockdown) is mostly required to get the system ready for identification of cases and early isolation. It is nothing to do with current surges but to do with future surges,” said Giridhar Babu, professor and head of Lifecourse Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). Dr Babu is also part of ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) task force on Epidemiology and Surveillance.

The state government has lagged in creating new infrastructure and getting private hospitals to part with beds required to treat the growing number of positive persons. Multiple teams have been formed for different roles but lack of synergies is weighing on its efforts, government officials say.

The lack of a timeline in identifying the source of the infection has expanded the gray area in the process that lets the government and other relevant authorities to steer clear of terming it as community transmission.

Aggravating problems is the growing distrust against the Yediyurappa government that has imposed the lockdown despite repeated requests not to do so. The fresh curb has forced many to leave Bengaluru which raised the risk of the virus spreading to other districts of the state.

Meanwhile, former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda has said the lockdown should be expanded to cover the entire state.

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