For the first time, an elected representative in Karnataka has tested positive for coronavirus directly. Imran Pasha, corporator of Padarayanapura ward in Bengaluru, tested positive on Friday.
BBMP officials are panic-stricken with the news about Pasha's test. The JD(S) corporator met several BBMP officials during the week for discussing and implementing surveillance measures in the ward.
The news was confirmed by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Commissioner BH Anil Kumar.
Anil was quoted as saying, "He has tested positive."
Imran Pasha was seen distributing free ration kits and Rs 2000 to over 110 households around the festival of Eid in his ward.
Towards this initiative, he was quoted as saying, "I took a lot of responsibility during the festival time (Ramzan) as our area was sealed down. As there are plenty of people living below-poverty line. I decided to serve them when they needed me the most. I had health issues, but avoided it because it is my duty to help them during the difficult times."
Contact tracing efforts underway
To date, Padarayanapura has reported 65 positive cases. Pasha's contact tracing is underway to find out his primary and secondary contacts.
In April, some residents from this ward had refused to stay under institutional quarantine as asked by the BBMP and Health Department officials and this had shifted the focus to Padarayanapaura.
When this had happened, the ward had four people who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Delhi and 11 other coronavirus patients. The health department and BBMP officials were trying to quarantine the primary and secondary contacts.
People had vandalized property as they protested the orders of quarantine and around 120 persons were arrested by the police for vandalism. Five of those who were arrested and transferred to Ramanaraga district jail had tested positive.
On this incident, Pasha had said, "We all know the Vandalism incident of Padarayanpura, which became national news for wrong reasons. Hundreds of innocent youths were picked up by Police on suspicion charges. There are many innocent people among them."
Padarayanapura ground check
Reports state that Pasha was asymptomatic not showing any COVID-19 symptoms when the tests were carried out. It was further reported that he had no history of being in contact with a coronavirus positive patient. Pasha also had no travel history.
Pasha posted his reaction to the test report and stated that he fell ill once the festive period was over. He visited the hospital and doctors asked him to undergo the COVID-19 test and the test report was positive.
He added, "We cannot help, but face the situation. It has come from China and we have not created it. The whole nation is suffering from this pandemic. From the Prime Minister to the Chief Minister, doctors to police, everybody is fighting for the cause. I am an elected representative and I had promised my people that I would always be with them in their happy and difficult times. What is the point in being in public life if I shy away from my responsibility."
He added that he was taking precautions and did not expect to be affected by the virus.
It should be noted that this ward was sealed off when the lockdown had begun. At present, the ward has 25 active cases while a total of 65 cases were reported.
The test report also means that Padarayanapaura will have containment measures put in place till June 21 if no further cases are reported. Also, this is the only area in Bengaluru where mass testing is yielding positive results.
Apart from this, Karnataka has recorded 248 COVID-19 positive cases on Friday, taking the total count to 2,781. Most of these people were travelers coming in from other places.