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India’s total soars above 12,000 and death tolls cross 392. Karnataka reports four deaths in 24 hours. 3 out of them are SARI patients.

With this, the state’s death toll due to the infection reaches 10. The three out of the four were SARI patients, which baffled the authorities. The patients had severe acute respiratory illness (SARI). They were admitted to the hospitals for respiratory difficulties and not because of the Coronavirus infection. The patients neither have travel history nor known contact history with COVID-19 patients. This suggests the possibility of community transmission. The Karnataka Government decided to start screening SARI patients for the virus. This was taken a few days ago in an attempt to identify the spread of the disease among the community.

A circular was issued by the state health department to the district authorities on Tuesday. Testing of SARI patients and those with influenza-like illness (ILI) for COVID-19 was made mandatory. The circular was later withdrawn by the government without citing any reason. The surveillance system should expand testing only reporting people to people that are at home despite the symptoms. This is said by epidemiologist Giridhar Babu, a member of the government’s panel to analyze the COVID-19 data. He also said many hospitals were not reporting SARI and ILI cases to the government yet. Babu said,” The reporting mechanism has to be intensified.”

One of the four deceased is a 55-year-old man from Kalaburgi. He had come in contact with a person who had traveled to Delhi. However, the person with a travel history tested negative. Another deceased is a 65-year-old from Bengaluru. He neither had any travel nor contact history. He was suffering from respiratory illness and then admitted to a hospital.

The third death is a 69-year-old from Vijayapura. He is believed to have contracted the disease from his wife who had been tested positive earlier. The fourth is a 76-year-old SARI patient from Bengaluru.

Due to these four deaths, Karnataka’s fatality rate i.e. the number of deaths against positive cases – which has risen to 3.8% from 2.6%, above the national average of 3.3%. Karnataka reports 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. After this, the state’s tally of positive cases reached 260. Most cases have been reported from the North Karnataka districts that include Bagalkot, Kalaburgi and Vijayapura.

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