Eighteen COVID-19 positive cases were reported on Thursday in Karnataka and nine of them were from one labour colony at Vidyajyothinagar, Hongasandra ward, in Bengaluru. All of them were primary contacts of patient-419, a 54-year-old migrant labourer in the same colony who tested positive on Wednesday morning.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has now sealed the area, which has over 500 houses, apart from the temporary sheds on vacant land where the construction workers stayed.
BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar said the civic body was informed about the nine positive cases late Wednesday night and that they immediately evacuated and tested all the secondary contacts residing in the temporary sheds there. “Nine of the 23 primary contacts have tested positive. The remaining 14 are under quarantine. As many as 162 secondary contacts have been traced and they are being monitored. They will be put under quarantine once their tests results are out,” he said.
A senior BBMP official said the vicinity had been sanitised and sealed. “We are still trying to ascertain the source of the virus. They might have been in touch with more people and hence we are doing door-to-door campaigns and phone surveillance,” an official said.
MLA for Bommanahalli Satish Reddy told The Hindu, “ASHA workers are doing a door-to-door survey. Fortunately, it’s a dead-end on one side of the settlement and on the other side, there is a storm-water drain. This has restricted the movement of people.”
Meanwhile, sources in the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. said they were in the process of identifying the construction labourers to ascertain whether they had previously worked with any Namma Metro contractor.
On Wednesday, a private hospital’s licence was cancelled and the facility was sealed by the Bengaluru Urban district administration for allegedly not informing the government of the then suspected COVID-19 case, who then tested positive (P- 419). A few hospital staff had also resisted quarantine.
Bharati R., a resident of Hongasandra, said they were worried about the situation. “We were bombarded with this news all of a sudden. Fortunately, not many people go to that part of the area as it the dead-end, However, the fear is there as it was so unexpected and so many cases at once,” she said.
Apart from the nine cases in one locality, one more positive case was reported in Bengaluru. Two cases each were reported in Vijayapura, Hubballi, and Mandya, while one case each was reported from Kalaburagi and Dakshina Kannada districts. While the contact tracing for the patients in Vijayapura is under way, all the other patients are contacts of those who were tested positive earlier. The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in Karnataka stands at 445.