Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Thursday revealed that around 2,000 to 3,000 COVID-19 infected patients have gone missing in Bengaluru as they have switched off their phones and vacated their houses. Speaking to reporters, Ashoka said, "2,000-3,000 COVID19 positive patients have switched off their phones and vacated their homes. This could lead to the spread of coronavirus. Later they have to run for ICU beds. Police is trying to track them."
"We are giving free medicines to people which can control 90 per cent of the cases, but they have switched off their mobile phones. They reach the hospitals in a critical stage to desperately look for ICU beds. This is what is happening now." "Many of the infected people are either not informing the officials about their whereabouts or have switched off their phones," he added.
Urging COVID-19 positive people to keep their phones switched on so that the police can trace them, the minister said, "I pray to them with folded hands that COVID cases will only increase due to this (behaviour). It is wrong when you reach for ICU beds at the last moment." The state government has imposed a lockdown for 14 days restricting the unnecessary movement of people to contain COVID cases, which is rising at an alarming rate.
According to the union health ministry, Karnataka is among the 10 states that reported 72.20 per cent of the new cases in the country. As per the ministry, the state reported 39,047 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. It is among the eleven states that cumulatively account for 78.26 per cent of India's total active cases, the ministry said. It further said that Karnataka currently has 3,28,903 active cases. As many as 229 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, as per the ministry.