BENGALURU: Karnataka reported 18 new Covid cases on Monday, taking the total positive cases to 408 even as the state did a U-turn on relaxations and extended the lockdown till May 3. Of the 18 new cases, 11 are from Vijaya Pura and 5 from Kalburgi. Of concern is North Karnataka districts where cases have nearly trebled in 8 days.

Eight of the state’s 16 deaths reported are from North Karnataka. There is a spurt in the cases in N Karnataka districts of Vijaya Pura, Belagavi, Ballari, Gadag, Bagalkot and Kalaburagi districts.

Meanwhile, a quarantine team of health workers and policemen was allegedly attacked on Sunday evening in Padarayanapura in west Bengaluru by a mob of 200-odd locals. The officials were in the area to take 58 people to isolation units as they were believed to have come in contact with three virus patients.

They were forced to retreat leaving behind the 33 locals who had to be taken to the isolation. At least 54 persons were arrested after the incident triggered widespread criticism. A FIR was filed against them on charges of assault and attempt to murder.

Padarayanapura locality was sealed last week after three people, who had attended a congregation in Delhi’s Nizammudin in March, tested positive for coronavirus. In a tweet, CM BS Yediyurappa said: “Police Commissioner has been told to provide full security to Asha workers and other officials.

No attack on Covid Warriors will be tolerated.” The incident comes amid reports the number of Covid-19 deaths are doubling in 7 days in Karnataka and the case fatality rate (CFR) is higher than the national average. The state has another concern.

The number of asymptomatic patients testing positive outnumbers symptomatic ones. Asymptomatic patients account for nearly 60% of the total 408 cases. This will add stress on the state machinery, already struggling to increase testing although samples have been piling up.

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