Karnataka Corona Update: Source of infection in over 65,000 patients in Karnataka unknown | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: As the Covid-19 cases in Karnataka surge, the source of infection for one in every two patients who have tested positive remains a mystery, prompting authorities to shift strategy to increasing isolation.
As of Saturday night, the government was unable to pinpoint the source of the virus in 65,099 of the 1.3 lakh cases in the state, while the remaining contracted an infection either through a contact or had a history of domestic or international travel.

“The number is not surprising given the government has diverted a significant percentage of resources to manage beds and coordinate, while ignoring tracking and tracing,” one expert working with the government said, without wanting to be named.
However, many experts said the government should not waste resources in finding the source anymore, but focus on enhancing testing capacity. While the Sunday health bulletin showed an increase in total cases, the government did not immediately release data on transmission source, which will come Monday.
Dr CN Manjunath, member, Karnataka Covid-19 task force, had earlier explained said the inability to pinpoint the source of infection clearly indicates that these patients were infected somewhere in the community. He had even said that in the long-run this would work as a stimulus for herd immunity given the low fatality rate. “However, it is too early to say anything concrete now,” he had said.
Experts also pointed out the government must conduct more sero-surveillance studies to understand this and data must also be collected on infection-per-case — how many people could be infected for every one positive case — rate to manage the infrastructure and resources better.
Of the 65,099 patients, 15,896 — 13,092 with ILI and 2,804 with SARI — have known comorbidities, and investigations are on to identify the source of transmission.
Dr Giridhara Babu, member, ICMR task force on research and surveillance, said: “It would be critical for the government to now ramp up testing capacity and identify all the people who may have been infected. Once this is done, they must all be isolated to prevent the infection from spreading as it is clear there is some local transmission.”
While there is no clear break-up of where the unidentified cases are from, a senior official said that a majority of cases could be from Bengaluru.
BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said: “We understand the problem, which is why we are working on increasing our testing capacity. Just yesterday we did more than 10,000 tests and we hope to ramp this up to 50,000 a day soon. Besides this we are identifying vulnerable populations across wards and they will be put under surveillance.”

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Sagar Biswas

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