Around 3,000 COVID-19 patients ‘missing’ in Bengaluru, says Karnataka minister

Bengaluru: Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, State Revenue Minister A Ashok on Wednesday claimed that many infected people had switched off their mobiles and about 3000 of them were ‘missing’ from Bengaluru. The minister told reporters that the police have been asked to locate such people.

Ashok said, “We are giving free medicines to the people so that up to 90 percent of the cases can be controlled but they (infected people) have switched off their mobile phones. They reach the hospital in critical condition and then look for ICU beds. This is happening these days.”

He said that many infected people have switched off their mobile phones and are not even telling anyone about the infection, due to which the situation has become very complicated.

“I think at least 2,000 to 3,000 people in Bangalore have switched off their phones and gone somewhere. We do not know where they have gone,” he said.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the state government has imposed a lockdown for 14 days from Tuesday night. There were more than 30,000 cases of infection in Karnataka on Tuesday. In the city of Bengaluru itself, the virus-infected 17,000 people. The number of active cases in the state is more than three lakhs whereas in Bengaluru there are more than two lakh patients.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Transport Department has assessed at least four lakh people have left Bengaluru by bus and another two lakh are still waiting in various bus stations to go back to their hometowns.

A common sight at bus stands is of labour contractors trying their best to persuade workers not to leave while transport officials and police were constantly using loudspeakers to ask people to wear masks and maintain social distance.

According to a senior Transport Department official, the crowd was so huge that buses ran full, with nearly three lakh people leaving Bengaluru on state transport corporation buses and more than a lakh people using private transport.

(With inputs from DNA India)

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