Expert team finds flaws in Karnataka's Covid-19 efforts

DH Exclusive | Centre's expert team finds loopholes in Karnataka's methods to restrict Covid-19 outbreak

The team was dispatched recently by the Union Health Ministry to visit five states including Karnataka

A health worker conducts swab test on a woman at a mobile Covid-19 coronavirus testing clinic at a bus stand in Bangalore. Credit: AFP

Failure on part of the Karnataka government to take strict measures to check the spreading of Covid-19 pandemic is one of the reasons for the increasing cases in the state, said an expert team sent by the Centre.

The team was dispatched recently by the Union Health Ministry to visit five states including Karnataka, after a spiral of cases, to review the state government's management of the pandemic. The expert panels also visited Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and West Bengal.

The copy of the report by the team, which was sent to Karnataka Chief Secretary Vijay Bhaskar, pointed out a number of loopholes in the method adopted by the state government to check the spreading of the disease.

The team comprising of Joint Secretary (Nodal Officer for the State),  public health expert and clinician visited several places in the state including Bengaluru, Kalaburagi and Bellary.

The expert team observed that Karnataka's surveillance and contact tracing measure not satisfactory in recent days. Though the state has made commendable works in tracing primary contact in the initial days of pandemic to till June end, subsequent days, it was negligent in tracing primary contact, particularly in Bengaluru. This was clear laxcity by BBMP, the report said.

The panel also said that the concerned authorities  failed to maintain proper documentation of Covid-19 positive patients. Even the state health department did not pay any attention in finding out the post Covid-19 health problems faced by patients, said the team.

Though some people died due to Covid-19 without any symptoms, the state treated many cases as non-Covid-19 cases because of confusions, the team said.

The team also did not agree with the state's decision on marking containment zone only if 20 cases are reported in a particular area. "There was no need to wait for cases to increase to till 20 to declare the area as containment zone," said the report while asking the state to strengthening system to contain the disease.