A week after municipal officials began the second phase of random testing in Padarayanapura to determine the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak, they did not reveal extensive infestation.
Since the mass testing began on May 14, the BBMP had used 430 of 500 swab kits, but did not get a positive result.
“This does not necessarily mean there is no infection in the ward,” a senior BBMP official said.
Data from the Department of Health and Family Welfare has revealed that there are 61 cases as of Thursday evening in Padarayanapura’s containment zone. This makes up 23.6% of the total cases in Bengaluru. All 11 cases reported in the ward are known contacts of previously infected people.
Tests in fringe areas
Another official pointed out that 216 original random sampling in the beginning of May had revealed seven positive cases, as all the tests have been conducted at the core of the containment zone. But the second phase of the random testing has been limited to people in the fringe areas of the containment zone.
Chamarajpet MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan clarified that the testing had been prioritised for pregnant women and senior citizens. “Ninety pregnant women have been tested so far and the balance is largely of senior citizens,” he said. The MLA could not confirm whether all of them lived in the fringes of the containment zone.
Dr Manoranjan Hegde, BBMP health officer, west zone, said the testing will soon extend into the inner areas of the containment zone. He pointed out that the results are awaited on 240 of the 430 used tests.
About 190 tests have been done up to Monday, including 11 on the first day of the programme. No tests were done on Sunday. So far, all the tests have come out negative.
Eighty-six tests were done on Tuesday, while 39 were done on Wednesday and 115 on Thursday. “Results of these tests are still pending,” Dr Hegde said. “But it is likely that they are all negative. We would be informed if otherwise.”
The Palike is expected to receive 500 more test kits on Friday, the health official said.
Khan was hopeful that 150 tests could be conducted on Friday. “Among these, over 130 will be senior citizens above the age of 60, while eight will be pregnant women,”
Eight fresh cases reported across the city
Eight new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, many of which are contacts of known infected people. Among them are the wife and son of Patient 1208, a man who came to the state from Chennai and tested positive on May 18.
Four of the cases are linked to the Padarayanapura cluster and are known contacts of two positive cases identified on May 8. Contact tracing is still going on for P1495, a 60-year-old man tested positive on Thursday, which meant that authorities are not sure how he contracted the disease.
A 36-year-old man who also tested positive has connections to P796, a 60-year-old man with Influenza-Like Illness (ILI). P796 provided a false address to get himself admitted at a Jayanagar private clinic. Being at the advanced stages of the disease, P796 died on May 14, despite being the first patient in Karnataka to receive plasma therapy.