Udupi declared an Orange zone, records first COVID-19 death and six new cases3 min read
UDUPI: As many as six new COVID-19 cases were reported in Udupi district as passengers from a Dubai to Mangalore flight tested positive for the coronavirus. Udupi’s status has now been changed from Green to Orange zone.
On May 12, 179 passengers landed at the Mangalore International Airport, out of which 49 were headed to Udupi. According to district health authorities, all adequate measures were in place. First, the incoming passengers’ temperatures were tested, and then they were categorised based on the results. After this, the 49 passengers belonging to Udupi were placed under institutional quarantine, as per protocols, and their swab tests were duly conducted.
Six passengers have tested positive so far, including a 31-year-old man, a 52-year-old man, a 33-year-old woman, a 38-year-old woman, a 37-year-old man, and a child. They were first quarantined at a private hotel and have since been shifted to Dr. TMA Pai Hospital, which is the designated COVID-19 centre in Udupi.
According to recent updates, a 54-year-old resident of Kundapura who had returned from Mumbai on May 5, died of a heart attack in KMC, Manipal and later tested positive for COVID-19 on May 14. This is the first death in Udupi district related to the disease.
The new surge in cases comes off as a pushback as Udupi was first declared as a Green zone on April 27, after no cases had been reported in over a month. Previously, three cases were reported between March 25 and March 29. All of the three patients recovered and were subsequently discharged. After being declared as a Green zone, the district had been functioning with relatively minor restrictions, especially during the third phase of the nationwide lockdown.
“Although things are a bit uncertain at the moment with regards to new regulations and the recent developments, I understand how it is a cause of concern to the locals,” said Dr. Sudhir Chandra Suda, District Health Officer (DHO), Udupi. He mentioned that this sharp spike in cases had not come as a surprise as they were expecting possible new cases due to the frequent inrush of returnees from foreign countries and COVID-19 hotspot states like Maharashtra.
According to the health office, the 120-bed district hospital cannot be converted into a proper COVID centre as their blood bank, dialysis unit and other important departments are still functioning. The DHO explained that it was a cause of concern because the emergence of new positive cases made it difficult to manage. He also added that they have to heavily rely on Manipal’s KMC Hospital since they do not have a medical college of their own.
There are 12 check posts in the district and the number of quarantine centres have increased from three to 16. Speaking about the health officials who are working, the DHO said, “We are concerned about the health of not only the ones travelling but also that of our health officials. We have asked them to take all the necessary precautions while handling the patients as well as themselves.”
In case of symptoms, please contact the COVID-19 helpline: 9663957222 / 9663950222
Featured Image Courtesy: TMJ Archives
Edited By: Josephine Justin