covid 19: Cases being under-reported in North Karnataka, fear doctors | Hubballi News – Times of India


BELAGAVI: There are rumblings of Covid-19 cases being underreported in the 14 districts of North Karnataka with a few doctors pointing to the spike in admission at the outpatient department (OP) at hospitals over the past 20 days. Overall, the positivity rate across the 14 districts of the region over the past 20 days has been under 2%. Furthermore, the positivity rate in Bidar, Gadag, Bagalkot, Haveri and Yadgir districts is below 1%. According to data from the health and family welfare department, the 14 districts have cumulatively reported 449 Covid-19 cases over the past eight days. Gadag district, meanwhile, has not reported a single case of Covid-19 since September 5.
Health department officials in these districts, however, dismissed allegations of cases being underreported. They attributed the surge in patients at the OPD of hospitals to the spike in cases of viral fever. President of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Belagavi Dr Anil Patil opined that the number of fresh cases in the past several days. “Some cases are not being reported since the patients are not undergoing RT-PCR test. On the other hand, the number of fresh viral fever cases have gone up,” Dr Patil said.

Another doctor at a private hospital said that there were two to three patients coming to the hospital who were testing positive on the CT scan. “But these cases are not being reported in the health department bulletin since the patients do not want to undergo an RT-PCR test,” he said.
Gadag-based Dr Pavan Patil, who collected data on the high resolution computerised tomography (HRCT) from all scanning centres across the district, said that underreporting of cases was the consequence of flaws in the government policy. “During the second wave, around 40% of the patients who tested negative for the novel coronavirus in the RT-PCR test tested positive when subjected to HRCT examination. The RT-PCR test cannot detect the new strain of the virus. This means that nearly 40% of the cases were not reported,” Dr Pavan said.
On the current situation, he said that the new variants and the reduced severity of the infection among patients who have been administered the Covid-19 vaccine, had resulted in many cases going unreported. “There has been a significant spurt in the number of patients being admitted, both children and adults alike, with symptoms of Covid-19. The state government has to change the policy, and gather data from CT scan reports of patients. The true picture will come out once this data gets compiled,” Dr Pavan Patil said.
Dr Maqsood Chanda, a retired government doctor from Bidar, said that five Covid-19 patients were being treated at each hospital. “According to the district bulletin published by the Bidar health department, the district is registering only zero to two cases daily. But patients and hospitals are not reporting cases to the health department. An eye doctor from Dharwad said that he got infected despite having been administered both doses,” Dr Chanda said.

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Sagar Biswas

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