Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka said on Wednesday that around 3,000 residents infected with the coronavirus have “gone missing” from Bengaluru, PTI reported. The government has asked the police to trace them, he said.
“We are giving free medicines to the people, which can control 90% cases, but they [those infected with Covid] have switched off their mobile phones,” Ashoka said. “They reach the hospital in a critical stage to desperately look for the ICU beds.This is what is happening now.”
He added: “I feel that at least 2,000 to 3,000 people in Bengaluru have switched off their phones and left their houses. We don’t know where they have gone.” He said it was wrong to go to hospitals at the last minute and said the rate of infection will only increase with such behaviour.
Health Minister K Sudhakar pointed out that this was a problem that Bengaluru had faced since the beginning of the pandemic last year, according to IANS.
“In my more than one year’s experience of handling this pandemic, it is observed at least 20% of the patients do not respond to our phone calls,” Sudhakar told reporters. “Though in most of the cases, police track them down in their own way but there are some of them who migrate to other states and take this disease with them there too.”
Though guidelines mandate that at least 20 contacts of an infected person are traced, officials in the state were only tracing four contacts per person, according to the Hindustan Times. After this came to light, the state government has ramped up its efforts.
These statements came on the day Karnataka reported its biggest single-day rise in coronavirus cases so far. The state recorded 39,047 new infections, taking its total caseload since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 to 14.39 lakh. With 229 deaths, the toll rose to 15,036. The state currently has 3.2 lakh active cases. State capital Bengaluru alone accounted for 22,596 cases and 137 deaths. A two-week lockdown began in Karnataka on Tuesday.
India on Thursday created yet another grim record with 3,79,257 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 1,83,76,524. This is the highest ever single-day rise in cases reported by any country so far, and the eighth consecutive day when India has recorded more than 3 lakh cases.
India also recorded 3,645 deaths in a day for the first time, taking the toll to 2,04,832. The number of active cases has crossed the 30-lakh mark.