Karnataka’s Medical Education Minister K.Sudhakhar on Wednesday said that he would initiate a discussion in the high power committee on covid-19 the possibility of sealing homes of positive persons instead of the entire colony.

The suggestion indicates the possibility that the Karnataka government is trying to further limit the area of containment and allows for businesses and other activities to resume.

“(The) concept and modalities of declaring any area as a containment zone has undergone changes in the last two months.” Sudhakar said on Wednesday in Udupi, the worst covid-19 affected district in the state.

Udupi now accounts for the highest number of active cases in the state with 408 out of the total 472 recorded in the coastal district so far.

Karnataka has been a strong advocate to bring down the area of a containment zone to smaller units like wards and gram panchayats rather than districts was accepted by the centre.

The B.S.Yediyurappa-led state government had introduced customised containment zones in Bengaluru to limit the area that will be sealed and allow the state’s growth engine to reopen to kickstart economic activity that came to a standstill for over two months due to the covid-19 lockdown.

The number of active containment zones in Bengaluru has doubled to 40 from 22 May that adds to the challenges of reopening the city as well as other problems it brings including safe collection and disposal of biomedical waste generated in these areas and stretching its health care and surveillance infrastructure.

Karnataka has seen a sharp surge in cases over the last two weeks that threatens to jeopardise its plans of reopening more categories of businesses and activities to resume operations in the state.

On Wednesday, Karnataka breached the 4000 covid-19 cases mark as 267 persons tested positive for the virus. The government, however, says that the majority of those testing positive returned from other states and are in quarantine that reduces the risk of the virus spreading in the community.

However, there are persons from within containment zones and contacts of earlier patients testing positive in the state that adds to the challenges of lifting lockdown measures.

The state government’s decision to phase out institutional quarantine, due to space and resource constraints, has added to fears of the virus being spread to the community. Several people have, in the past, violated home quarantine norms even though it carries the risk of being slapped with a police case.

Only those returning from Maharashtra are mandated to undergo seven days of institutional quarantine followed by another week at home since the state now accounts for at least 2400 cases of the total cases in the state.

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