The November 3 Assembly bye-polls in Karnataka to the two seats of RR Nagar in Bengaluru and Sira in Tumakuru have not adversely affected the COVID-19 infection rate in those two constituencies. The Technical Advisory Committee of the state government on COVID-19 management said that the positivity rate in these two areas between November 6 and November 10 were less than 1% and remained less than the state average.
In RR Nagar, there were a total of 14,727 tests conducted over four days with 84 testing positive -meaning a positivity rate of 0.57%. Similarly in Sira, the number of tests conducted over four days were 15,874 with 103 returning positive. This meant a positivity rate of 0.65%. The positivity rate for the entire state for November 10 was 2.35%, noted the members of the TAC and concluded that conducting the elections has not resulted in an increase of cases in these two areas.
Incidentally, as reported earlier, former Minister and Congress candidate for the bye-polls in Sira constituency TB Jayachandra on Monday said he had tested positive for the coronavirus and has been hospitalised since then. His wife, who also tested positive for the virus was also hospitalised. Due to this he had to withdraw himself from the counting process.
Results of the two bye-polls were declared on Tuesday. In both the seats, the BJP emerged victorious with former Congress MLA and now BJP candidate Muniarathna winning from RR Nagar while Dr Rajesh Gowda, a political novice winning from Sira.
The bye-poll in RR Nagar was conducted following the resignation of Munirathna, who was the sitting MLA when he crossed over from Congress to the BJP. Sira went to polls following the death of JD(S) legislator B Sathyanarayana in August.
As of Tuesday evening, cumulatively 8,51,212 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 11,430 deaths and 8,08,700 discharges,