BELAGAVI: Belagavi has turned into a major Covid hotspot after Bengaluru Urban, recording 22 cases in a single day on Sunday taking the total number of cases in the district from 85 to 107. While most of the 85 patients till Saturday were contacts of Tablighi Jamaat members, all the 22 positives on Sunday had travelled to the district from Ajmer in Rajasthan.
They had gone to the pilgrimage town before the outbreak and were stuck there since the lockdown. After their long stay at Ajmer, a group of 38 people had reached the Karnataka border near Nipani in a private bus on May 2. But officials had denied them entry.
Deputy Commissioner Dr SB Bommanahalli told The New Indian Express, “The bus had come from Ajmer and all the travellers had passes issued by the district collector of Ajmer on May 2. We denied them entry, but they somehow managed to sneak through the same day. However, our officials tracked them down near the border, seized the vehicle and put all the 38 passengers under institutional quarantine at Murarji Desai School near Nipani.’’
The samples were sent for testing and the results came on Sunday, he said. While eight of them hail from Badami taluk, Bagalkot district, others are residents of Hukkeri, Raibag, Athani, Chikkodi and Belagavi taluk in Belagavi district
The DC said that the officials have prevented a major spread by quarantining the entire group before they reached their hometowns. Trying to allay fears of the people, he said that none from the group had mingled with anyone outside and there is no danger of the virus spreading.
The police and administration officials are keeping a strict watch along the border to ensure that all those entering the district are screened by medical teams, he added. Sources said that most of the people tested positive on Sunday were cooks at different government guesthouses in Belagavi district. They had gone to Ajmer along with their families and were stranded after the lockdown was announced.