In the last six days, over half of the COVID-19 cases reported in Karnataka were of people who had returned from Maharashtra. Karnataka reported 436 cases of COVID-19 between May 14 and May 19, a relatively higher number than the number of cases the state had been reporting till then. Of these, 251 cases were of people who returned from Maharashtra, which is 57.57% of the positive cases.
As many as 64,674 people have returned to Karnataka until May 15, out of the total 1,16,761 people who have received permission through Seva Sindhu service to come back to Karnataka. The state government, however, has not yet tabulated the total number of people who came to Karnataka from Maharashtra alone.
Most of these returnees from Maharashtra travelled to Mandya, Hassan, Shivamogga, Raichur, Koppal, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Uttara Kannada districts. However, a large portion of those who returned from Maharashtra entered Mandya district. In the last six days, 121 people, or 48.2% of those who returned from Maharashtra, travelled to Mandya. These districts have seen a spike in COVID-19 cases in the past four days.
Speaking to TNM, Mandya Deputy Commissioner Venkatesh said that in the last fortnight, around 2,000 migrant workers returned home from Maharashtra.
“Almost everyone who came back from Maharashtra is a migrant worker. Fortunately, we quarantined everyone in government-designated centres as soon as they deboarded the train. They have not come into contact with any local resident of Mandya,” Collector Venkatesh added.
The Mandya district administration is in the process of collecting swab samples of all the migrant workers who returned. “We had expected this to happen and were prepared to house at least 4,000 people in quarantine centres. Today (May 19), over 60 migrant workers tested positive in Mandya alone. We expected more cases to appear in the coming days,” he added.
Karnataka reported the highest number of cases as on Tuesday morning with 127 people testing positive for the SARS-Cov-2. Of these, 62 are from Mandya.
*Note: This data was as of the morning of May 19. After the revised evening bulletin, the number of cases on May 19 from Maharashtra stand at 105
The Karnataka government on Monday stopped the inter-state travel between three states -- Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. One of the primary reasons for stopping the influx of people from these three states was due to the high number of COVID-19 cases reported in these states. And the influx of people has increased the number of cases in Karnataka drastically.
Speaking to TNM, a senior official with the Health Department said that due to the increasing number of cases from Maharashtra, the state government decided to restrict the entry of people from this state.
“There were a lot of cases of people who were returning from Gujarat to Gadag, Kalaburagi, Yadgir and other north Karnataka districts, and then testing positive. There was a lot of influx of people from Tamil Nadu to Bengaluru, Kolar and Chikkaballapura. We did not want the districts with fewer cases to have more and more cases,” the official added.