Udupi, June 2: The number of positive cases may continue to be more in Udupi district since the results of more than 3,000 samples are pending with Labs.
The district total cases to 260. The figure had seemed far-fetched on May 15, when the number of cases stood at just three. The latest spike has been attributed to the return of migrants from other States as well as from abroad. These samples are from people who returned to the district in the last two weeks.
This delay is because the laboratories testing samples from Udupi are burdened with a high case-load after more than 8,500 people returned to the district, particularly from the neighbouring state of Maharashtra.
"Samples have piled up after the influx of people returning from other states and from abroad," says Dr Prashant Bhat, nodal officer for COVID-19 in Udupi. This delay has caused returnees in institutional quarantine to stay on for as long as 18 days.
The designated laboratory for coronavirus testing in Udupi is Wenlock District Hospital in Mangaluru. The district administration also sends samples to laboratories at the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal, Yenepoya Medical College, Mangaluru, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Mangaluru, and Viral Diagnostic Laboratory in Shivamogga. Apart from Udupi, the laboratory in Manipal is also testing samples from Uttara Kannada district. The laboratory in Shivamogga is also testing samples from Shivamogga and Bijapur districts. The laboratories in Mangaluru, similarly, have samples from Dakshina Kannada district.
Dr Avinash Shetty, Medical Superintendent of Kasturba Hospital in Manipal, one of the private laboratories being used by the Udupi district administration, said that they are testing samples in batches. "We received around 600 samples today and we will be testing them now. The backlog of samples should be cleared in the next few days," Dr Avinash said.
All 73 cases reported in Udupi on Monday were patients with travel history of returning from Maharashtra or patients with travel history of returning from abroad.
In cases of some patients who tested coronavirus positive in the past week, people were released from institutional quarantine after a stipulated period only to be tracked down again and admitted in hospitals after their results returned positive.
While two such cases emerged in Belapu and Belman in the district, the administration is now following up with others who were released from institutional quarantine to ensure they remain in home quarantine till their test results are confirmed.
The spike in cases among returning migrants in Udupi also comes at a time the Karnataka government reduced restrictions on interstate travel.
Covid-19 cases may continue to mount in Udupi as over 3,000 samples still pending