Dip in covid cases in Karnataka is because of dip in testing?

News Network
September 20, 2021

Bengaluru, Sept 20: The state’s Covid-19 numbers continued their descent - a trend which first set in eight weeks ago. In the last seven days, Karnataka registered 6,131 cases, which is 6.6% lower than the 6,571 cases recorded the week before.

The decline allayed fears that cases were on the rise again between September 15 to 17, when case numbers increased to beyond a thousand per day, after days of a decline.

Considering weekly averages, Karnataka’s Covid-19 numbers fell by 29% over the last 30 days, but of equal concern is that the statewide testing numbers, which despite getting a boost in the middle part of last week, have been steadily declining.

In the last seven days, the state government conducted 9.78 lakh tests, which was 9.84 lakh the week before. The average number of tests conducted has declined by 20.4% over the course of the last 30 days.

The state’s declining case numbers are due to abrupt drops in case registrations on some days. Sunday was one of these days with Karnataka recording 783 new cases. Out of these, Bengaluru Urban disclosed that it had identified 267 new cases, comprising 34% of the statewide total for the day.

The decline in the number of new cases in the city has been less steep. Over the last 30 days, the average number of cases have fallen by 8.6%, with testing rates having plummeted by 12.9%.

The next highest cases were recorded in Dakshina Kannada (97), Udupi district (82) and Mysuru district (69).

The new statewide cases, coupled with 1,139 discharges, leave Karnataka’s active caseload at 15,383. Health officials also announced 16 new fatalities. Barring two of the deaths which happened on Sunday, six were backlog deaths which had occurred in July and May.

Covid-19 among children

Between September 12 and 18, the state recorded 247 new cases of Covid-19 of children aged below 11. Among teens (11 to 19), it recorded 827 new cases. In contrast, 289 pre-teen and 888 teen cases were reported in the week before last (5-11 September). Over the last 14 days, pre-teen cases comprise 4.1% of daily Covid-19 cases.

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News Network
October 22,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 22: The fee for undergraduate medical and dental courses in the state is likely to go up by 15% this academic year.

Sources in the Department of Medical Education said the government was mulling continuing the previous year's decision on fee hike. This means 15% hike for government seats and 25% for private seats. 

A meeting on the issue between the Medical Education minister and the private medical college representatives on Thursday was cancelled last minute as the minister was busy with his pre-scheduled engagements.

"It was the first meeting convened and it got cancelled. We have not officially received any requests from them about the fee hike, but the same will be discussed in the meeting with the minister and we are planning to decide on it in the first sitting itself," said an official from the Department of Medical Education. 

According to the sources, the private medical college managements are demanding  a hike of 25% to 30%. A representative of a private medical college from Bengaluru said, "The deemed-to-be universities and private universities have the privilege to charge around Rs 12 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. We want the fee to be increased on par with them."

Officials said that this is the last year that the state government will bargain with the medical colleges. "From next year, the matter would be left to all-India level counseling by the Directorate General of Health Services, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Since this is the last year, in all probability, we are doing this, we might consider their demand and increase the fee in line with the previous year's agreement," added an official.

The existing fee structure for medical courses for government quota seats at a private medical college is Rs 1,28,746 and for private quota seats is Rs 9,81,956. This is as per the hike made during 2020-2021 academic year. 

Similarly, the fee in private dental colleges stands at Rs 83,356 and Rs 6,66,023 for government and private quota seats, respectively. 

It can be recalled that the fee for undergraduate medical courses has increased by 200% in the last 10 years. The fee charged during 2006-07 academic year for government quota seats at private medical colleges was Rs 42,000. 

In the academic year 2018-19, even the fees at government medical colleges increased significantly from Rs 16,700 to Rs 59,800.

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News Network
October 14,2021

Mangaluru, Oct 14: The police have arrested the Dakshina Kannada district manager of Karnataka Minority Development Corporation on charge of sexually harassing a female colleague.

The accused is M Farooq 47. A 19-year-old female staff, who was working with the accused, had lodged complaint against him with the Pandeshwar women’s police station.

The complainant claimed that the accused used to harass her and ask her to send her nude photos on WhatsApp. She also claimed that he molested her recently. Subsequently the girl quit the job and approached police. 

The accused is booked under IPC 354a, 364d and 506. 

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News Network
October 20,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 20: Once vaccinations for those aged between the age of 12- to 18-year-olds is given the green light, Karnataka is likely to vaccinate 16 and 17-year-olds first.

A member of the state's Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) said that they had recommended higher-aged children be given the vaccine first, followed by children under 16 years of age. The committee also recommended identifying co-morbid children in the 16-17 age group at the earliest.

Two vaccines — Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D and Bharat Bioech's Covaxin — are likely to be included in India's vaccination program for children soon. While ZyCoV-D received Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the Drugs Controller General of India in August, Covaxin was recommended by the Subject Expert Committee close to a week ago.

Karnataka has so far vaccinated 66.76 per cent of its adult population with the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 33.23 per cent of its adult vaccination has received the second dose.

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