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Inter-state travellers responsible for spurt in COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru


Bengaluru, July 19: With the city witnessing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the past few days, the Karnataka government holds inter-state travellers responsible for the spurt in infections, saying those from hot spot states like Maharashtra could have brought the infection.

 Inter-state travellers responsible for spurt in COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru

State Minister for Medical Education K Sudhakar said there was no community transmission of the pandemic, adding if it were to be the case, the number of infections would be running into 'lakhs.' Sudhakar, in-charge of Karnataka vis-a-vis COVID-19 management, told PTI the spurt in cases was bound to happen, but said the government's "vigilant approach" has slowed down the spread of the virus by two months in this city. The state capital has so far reported 29,621 positive cases, including 6,540 discharges and 631 deaths.

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According to Sudhakar, when the lockdown was eased, people from various parts of the country, including high prevalence states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, came to Karnataka.

"As you know, Bengaluru is a cosmopolitan city. So from every nook and corner people came here. When they came they were not mindful of what they were supposed to do (health precautions, apparently) and they spread the infection," he charged. The surge in coronavirus cases, according to Sudhakar, was bound to happen in every city and every state because of the global phenomenon of the disease. However, the government has delayed it by another two months compared to other states as it was "vigilant," he said.

"I am not washing away the government's role. The government can do every bit to contain, to treat them, but citizens should cooperate. Society should actively come forward in controlling this pandemic," he pointed out. The minister ruled out community spread of the disease in Bengaluru though the city is witnessing a massive scale-up in cases. Sudhakar maintained that he cannot say that there was a community spread unless there was proper research. "If that was the case (community spread), it would not have been in thousands, it would have been in lakhs," Sudhakar said.

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    The spread is still in the first and second levels, and "the third level of the community spread can be prevented with government's proactiveness and mindful conduct of the citizens," he added. Speaking about the measures taken by the government, Sudhakar said 8,134 local polling booth level task force committees have been constituted, which will play an important role along with the officers of various agencies. He added that the administration was trying to prevent its spread at the micro level, even as testing of samples has been ramped.

    While the government has clamped a lockdown till July 22 to curb the spread of the virus, it will take up various key measures like door-to-door survey, even as citizens venturing out during this time without valid reason is a strict no-no.

    By strictly implementing the curbs, the government hopes to break the virus chain. To a question, the minister ruled out any shortage of life saving drugs related to Coronavirus treatment. "There is no such shortage. We have enough and more. We have ordered more. Absolutely there is no dearth of medicines," he added.

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