Bengaluru, May 20, 2020: Karnataka witnessed its highest single day spike of 54 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the tally to 848 as the government announced guidelines for returning stranded people while eight special trains carrying over 9,000 migrant workers and others left the state for different destinations.
One more COVID-19 death was reported in the state, as the toll due to the disease rose to 31. Belagavi bordering Maharashtra with 22 cases, Bagalkote and Shivamogga with eight cases each and Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada with seven, were the biggest contributors to the tally on Sunday, the health department said.
This was the highest number of cases for a single day in the state so far, a senior government officer told PTI.
Shivamogga, home district of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, lost its green zone tag with eight people, testing positive for the deadly virus. Kalaburugi (4), Bengaluru (3) and Chintamani in Chikkaballapura district and Davangere accounted for one each among the new cases. Eight of the nine people affected in Shivamogga had returned from Ahmedabad and were contacts of infected people belonging to Tablighi Jamaat, district administration sources said.
A 56-year-old woman in Bengaluru Urban district became the latest fatality. The woman, also a case of Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI), had been admitted to a private hospital on May 4 and shifted to another two days later. She died on May 7 and the lab reports on Saturday confirmed that she had COVID-19, the health department said. While Karnataka battled to contain the rising number of coronavirus cases, government sources said a special flight carrying 240 people would land here from London in the early hours of Monday. The government took a slew of decisions with regard to the stranded people returning to Karnataka from abroad and other states.
At a meeting chaired by Yediyurappa, it was decided they will have to undergo tests and compulsory 14 days quarantine. The government also agreed to foot the train fare of those returning from other states but they will be allowed based on the availability of quarantine facilities. According to an official release, it was decided that if someone from Karnataka dies in other state, the body shall not be brought back and similar would be the rule for those from outside whose death occurs in the state. The last rites shall be performed wherever a person died.
Meanwhile, eight special trains - six from Bengaluru region and two from Mangaluru - left for various destinations in the country carrying over 9,000 passengers, a large number of them migrant workers and students. The trains that left Bengaluru headed for Udhampur, Bankura, Gwalior, Danapur, Gorakhpur, Dinapur and Agartala while the other two were bound for Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, South Western Railway sources said. All the passengers were provided with meal and drinking water bottles. Each pack contained rice, chapati, biscuits, pickles and buttermilk, they said. "No pantry car is there as a precautionary measure. Throughout the journey food will be provided from IRCTC base kitchens. Number of meals depend on duration of journey," the officials added. A report from Mangaluru said the train to UP left around 2 pm, while the train to Bihar in the evening. Both the trains carried 1,150 passengers each.
Earlier on Saturday night, a special train carrying 1,140 migrant workers stranded in Mangaluru due to the lockdown left for Jharkhand. These passengers were selected from among those who had registered for return to home states on the state governments Seva Sindhu portal. The report also said no new cases of coronavirus was reported from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts on Sunday.