BENGALURU: With a sudden surge in cases, especially of those coming from Maharashtra, the state government is feeling helpless and unable to cope with the influx. Detailed analysis of cases shows that these are labour class and Maharashtra is not testing them before they leave, a senior health department official said. The worry is also those coming from Delhi and Tamil Nadu.
Ragigudda slum in JP Nagar was sealed after two people with a travel history to Maharashtra tested positive. They had come in contact with many people, including children. In another case, a housekeeping staffer working with a bank in Malleswaram, was found positive. The department is finding it difficult to trace contact history.
“Maharashtra is not testing because it does not want to show high numbers in its Covid-19 graph. Also, the PM has said that no traveller should be denied entry,” the official said. Most of these are labourers who are first asymptomatic, and later show signs. There have been cases of those in 7-day institutional quarantine being released before their tests results come in, and in case of a positive result, the department has to trace them, the official added.
According to health department records, there is a backlog of 11,000 samples to be tested. “The SOPs have been revised many times and now it is a pan-India issue. Karnataka is testing at multiple levels, but other states are not. There are also instances where Covid-negative certificates are fake. We cannot keep many people under institutional quarantine because of space constraint,” he said. Health officials are also worried as the virus strain is different in Maharashtra, compared to here, leading to more deaths there. “We are completely helpless now,” the official said.