K’taka to Test Influenza, Respiratory Ailment Cases for COVID-19

Karnataka reported a case where a one-year-old toddler with ‘influenza like illness’ was tested positive.

Updated15 Apr 2020, 01:43 PM IST
2 min read

The Karnataka government has decided to test all persons suffering from influenza and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) for COVID-19 in the state from now on. The decision was announced by Cabinet Minister S Suresh Kumar on Wednesday, 15 April. This is expected to help discover more cases in the state in the coming days.

The announcement comes hours after the state reported another COVID-19 related death. The victim, a 65-year-old male, was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. He was tested positive for H1NI and COVID-19 as well.

Similarly, Karnataka also reported a case where a one-year-old toddler with ‘influenza like illness’ was tested positive.

Also, out of the 279 positive cases COVID-19 positive cases reported in the state, 19 were suffering from SARI.

Dr Sudarshan Ballal, chairman of Manipal Hospitals, said the decision is a step in the right direction. “One of the causes for getting SARI is COVID-19 virus. So, this will help us find more patients suffering from the virus,” he said.

The state started reporting COVID-19 positive cases with SARI from 27 March onwards and the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Chest Diseases (RGICD) has dedicated a 70-bed ward just to treat SARI cases.

While the state plans to increase testing, the government is yet to receive the large order for testing kits. The Karnataka government had placed an order with Singaporean firm Sensing Self Private Limited for 1 lakh kits. The order is yet to arrive because of bureaucratic hurdles in China.

Karnataka government had shut down a private hospital for not reporting a SARI case for two days. The patient subsequently died and was tested positive for COVID-19. Talking to media, Cabinet minister S Suresh Kumar had said: “The hospital had kept him for two days and didn’t report the incident. We have sent a notice for act of criminal negligence and a police case will be filed,” said the minister

On 15 April, Karnataka reported 19 more cases, the highest increase in a single day in the state so far. The total number of cases now stands at 279, including 12 deaths and 80 discharges.

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Published: 15 Apr 2020, 01:36 PM IST
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