BENGALURU: More than 40 out of 170 men from Mysuru battalion deployed for Mekedatu padayatra have tested positive for COVID-19, Additional Director General of Police, Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) Alok Kumar said on Wednesday.
In a tweet, he said:"42 men out of 170 deployed from Mysore Battalion for Mekedatu padayatra have tested positive. Luckily they are having mild symptoms. Need to meet them in person and express gratitude for putting their lives at risk in the line of duty, once they are out of isolation."
The Congress' Karnataka unit had organised a ten-day padayatra from Mekedatu to Bengaluru from January 9, that was to span a total distance of nearly 139 km, demanding implementation of the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river, by violating COVID curbs.
However, with limited options before it amid surging COVID cases, the government prohibiting movement of people, and High Court observations against it, the Congress on January 13, temporarily halted the padayatra on its fifth day at Ramanagara.
Police have filed four FIRs against Congress leaders, including state president Shivakumar and legislature party leader Siddaramaiah, for taking out the march defying COVID-19 curbs.
Meanwhile, the education department has ordered temporary suspension of classes in five schools and a college in the city due to a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the campuses.
A department communique here said the classes in the six institutions will be suspended for a week due to increase in Covid-19 cases.
The institutions include Vivekananda PU college, Yedapadavu; government high school, Bengre Kasaba; Canara CBSE school, Dongrakere; Ansar English medium high school, Bajpe and Vyasa Maharshi English medium high school, Mulki.
Dakshina Kannada deputy commissioner K V Rajendra in a statement said if more than five individuals are found infected in a campus, such schools and colleges will be temporarily closed.
Karnataka on Wednesday reported 40,499 new cases of COVID-19, and 21 fatalities, taking the tally to 33,29,199 and the death toll to 38,486.
The state, which has been witnessing a steady surge in cases since the last week of December, had recorded 41,457 fresh infections on Tuesday.
Of the new cases on Wednesday, 24,135 were from Bengaluru Urban that saw 18,081 people being discharged and five virus-related deaths.
The total number of active cases across the state is now 2,67,650.
There were 23,209 discharges, taking the total number of recoveries to 30,23,034, a health department bulletin said.
While the positivity rate for the day stood at 18.80 per cent, the case fatality rate (CFR) was 0.05 per cent.
Of the 21 deaths, five are from Bengaluru Urban, four from Mysuru, three in Dakshina Kannada, and one each from Bagalkote, Belagavi, Chikkaballapura, Gadag, Hassan, Raichur, Shivamogga, Tumakuru and Vijayapura.
Apart from Bengaluru Urban, Tumakuru recorded the second highest with 1,804 new cases, Hassan 1,785, Mysuru 1,341, and Mandya 1,340, followed by others.
Bengaluru Urban district now has a total of 14,82,484 cases, followed by Mysuru 1,91,803 and Tumakuru 1,31,569.
According to the bulletin, Bengaluru Urban tops the list among discharges with 12,81,636, followed by Mysuru 1,80,264 and Tumakuru 1,20,917.
Cumulatively, a total of 5,96,06,693 samples have been tested, of which 2,15,312 were on Wednesday alone.