K’taka records 525 deaths in a day

Bengaluru

Karnataka on Tuesday recorded one of the highest Covid deaths for a single day with 525 patients succumbing to the virus, 298 of them in Bengaluru alone. With this, the total toll figure stands at 22,838 Covid-related deaths and test positivity at a high of 32.50.

Authorities are yet to figure out why deaths are on the rise while number of new Covid cases has started dipping. On Tuesday, the state recorded 30,309 new cases, taking the active case load to 5.75 lakh.

Bengaluru recorded 8,676 new cases while seven districts reported over 1,000 cases each.

Though cases are high in Bengaluru, the Centre is closely monitoring the situation in Tumakuru and Dakshina Kannada. For three weeks — April 22 to May 12 — Tumakuru reported 38,300 cases and Dakshina Kannada 20,299 with a big rise week on week.

Tumakuru, just 70 km from Bengaluru, is bearing the brunt of a surge in the IT city. “As the surge began in Bengaluru, many from Tumakuru who were living in the state capital returned home. Most of the beds are occupied in both government and private hospitals in Tumakuru. The spurt began in April, and it is continuing,” Dr MB Nagendrappa, DHO, Tumakuru, was quoted in the media.

On Tuesday, Tumakuru recorded 1,562 new cases, taking the total positive caseload to 84956. Dakshina Kannada district recorded 777 new cases, taking the total positives to 63,508.

Mysuru too is on the radar. On Tuesday, Mysuru district recorded 1,916 new cases, taking the total positive case figure to 1.1 lakh.

The huge number of cases has also put considerable strain on the state’s financial position. Added to this, the inflow of donations to the CM’s Covid Relief Fund has witnessed a big drop. In the first wave of Covid, the Chief Minister’s Covid-19 Relief Fund, set up in May-June 2020 soon after the pandemic broke out, attracted Rs 318 crore until November-December last year. In the second wave, that has dropped to a measly Rs 2 crore in April-May this year.

S Selvakumar, principal secretary to the CM, was quoted in the media as saying “This year, the pandemic has hurt most private companies, especially in the manufacturing and small-scale sectors. Therefore, their contributions have reduced to a trickle.”

Another likely reason is that the Centre has tweaked exemption terms under corporate social responsibility (CSR) spending.

An official in the chief minister’s office was quoted as saying “During the first wave, the Centre had issued an order that state governments need to issue certificates for companies on their contribution to the fight against Covid-19. However, during the second wave, the government has given the companies direct responsibility to aid and declare it as CSR contributions towards Covid-19 assistance.”

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