Bengaluru: After two months of dodging the bullet, Karnataka took the hit from Covid-19 on Friday, recording 45 fresh cases in one day. And that is just the afternoon number. More cases are likely to be recorded in the evening bulletin.
For weeks, the state had been counting its blessings hoping that the contagion has given it a miss. Friday’s spurt of fresh cases shows that it was all a case of whistling past the graveyard. The spook is still around.
Today’s 45 positives, including a five-month baby, take the total number of infections in the state to 750, far less than northern neighbour Maharashtra, which is the leader, or even eastern neighbour Telangana, which has 1172.
Unlike in those two states, it’s not the state capital, Bengaluru, that’s the epicentre; the surge is spread over several districts. From the noon sit report of the health department, the new cases include 14 from Davangere, 12 from Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada, 11 from Belagavi, 7 from Bengaluru Urban, and 1 from Ballari.
Until today, the highest daily incidence had been 38, mainly on account of two clusters: the Jubilant Generics one at Nanjanagud; and the Tablighi Jamaat spread. Both clusters were contained.
A look at the sequential growth of the virus in Karnataka suggests that the contagion has shifted a gear on Friday.
* March 9 – first case
* March 24 – 41
* March 31 – 101
* April 10 – 207
* April 16 – 315
* April 20 – 408
* April 25 – 500
* May 2 – 601
* May 7 – 705
* May 8 – 750
The point of concern in the new cases is that the virus has staged a comeback in places where it was thought to have been overcome.
The 14 new cases from Davanagere underscore the fact that the district had been certified orange until a week ago, and had not seen a single positive for more than a month. Now Davanagere is red hot.
Bhatkal too is giving the officials a sinking feeling. It was the scene of an early rash of cases, but the situation was successfully brought under control. However, one person visiting Mangaluru turned the almost-green zone back to red zone.
In the capital Bengaluru, the setback is giving second thoughts to the BBMP, which had been wanting to petition the central government to declare its corona-free wards as 'green zones'. They are now wary of it. Of the 7 fresh corona positive cases found in Bengaluru, they are unable to pin down the source of infection of three.
The seven cases are from Shivajinagar (which was sealed early this week after a housekeeper tested positive) and from the containment zone of Padarayanapura, which was among the first to be declared a containment zone and sealed off on April 10.
After fresh cases were reported from Shivajinagar, shops in Commercial Street which had opened for business were asked to shut immediately.
Among the infected is a 34-year-old pregnant woman resident of Padarayanapura who visited the BBMP Maternity Hospital near Sirsi Circle, Chamrajpet. Following her diagnosis, other patients in the hospital have been shifted and the medical staff who attended to her have been told to self-quarantine. The hospital has been sealed and is being sanitised.
The pregnant woman, who is expecting to deliver soon, has been shifted to the Covid 19 facility at Victoria Hospital....