Kalaburagi (Karnataka), March 14 (IANS) Two journalists and a cameraman of a national news channel were quarantined in North Karnataka’s Kalaburagi for interviewing the coronavirus victim’s son two days ago, a top official said on Saturday.
“The three media persons have been quarantined in their respective homes for having interviewed on Thursday the son of the 76-year-old man who died of COVID-19 on Tuesday night,” Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner B. Sharat told IANS.
“As a precaution, we have advised the three media persons to remain in their homes and take steps to ensure they were not affected by interviewing a person who was son of the victim,” said Sharat.
The victim’s son, his wife, sister and his son have been under observation in an isolated ward at the state-run ESI Hospital in the city since Friday.
“Blood samples of the victim’s four family members were sent to Bengaluru for test. We are awaiting the test report to ascertain if they too were affected, as they were with the victim, since his return from Saudi Arabia. He had been admitted to private hospitals at Kalaburagi and Hyderabad before he succumbed,” said Sharat.
The victim’s body was buried at Kalaburagi on Wednesday after it was disinfected and sanitised as per the state health guidelines.
“About 70 people in the victim’s neighbourhood are also kept under self-isolation in their respective homes, as they too would have come in contact with him or exposed to secondary infection,” Sharat pointed out.
Admitting that it was an emergency health situation, the Karnataka cadre IAS officer advised the people to avoid going out unless it was a must.
“We are creating awareness about the fatal disease and have taken measures to remain safe and healthy,” Sharat said.
Though the state government has shut down schools, colleges, theatres, malls, weddings and bars/pubs for a week from Saturday across the state, Sharat said the ban would be for two weeks till March 28 in the city to prevent social gatherings in large numbers.
The district administration also evicted roadside eateries and sale of cut-fruits in the open to prevent spread of the deadly virus.
“We have set up a 24×7 control room and help desk in the district secretariat to enable the people call us at for advice on the virus and reach out to the affected at the earliest,” said Sharat.
“Board exams in schools, colleges and universities are allowed to be held as scheduled as postponing them will upset the yearly academic cycle. Government offices and e-services are open though some services like asset registrations, issue of driving licence and road transport corporation (RTC) documents have been suspended as they draw more people to our offices,” he added.
In a related development, district health officer Jabbar denied the charge by the son of the country’s first victim that his father did not get timely help or advise to survive the ordeal.
“The victim’s family shifted him to Hyderabad from a private hospital in the city without informing us and brought him back to Gulbarga, where he was declared dead due to coronavirus,” Jabbar asserted.