Bengaluru: As many as 2000-3000 people who tested positive for novel coronavirus in Bengaluru are untraceable and most infected people have switched off their phones, state Revenue Minister, R Ashoka claimed on Wednesday.
Police have been asked to trace them, the Minister told reporters.
"At least 2,000 to 3,000 people in Bengaluru have gone off our radar by switching off their phones and left their houses. We don't know where they have gone," he admitted.
Bengaluru has become the epicentre of the viral spread ever since the pandemic broke out, often contributing a minimum of 50 per cent to the state's overall tally of COVID patients, fatalities and nearly two-thirds of patients in ICUs.
"With most of these patients switching off their mobile phones, the Health Department is not able to trace them and most of them are also not available at their given addresses, it is construed as they have 'missing'. Certainly, there is a potential threat for these missing patients. These patients can turn out to be super-spreaders," Ashoka warned.
He added that the state had to rope in police as they have required expertise to track switched off mobile phones.
The minister added that the state government was giving free medicines to people, which can control 90 per cent of cases, but these Covid-19 infected people have switched off their mobile phones.
"Some them reach hospitals at a critical stage and desperately look for Intensive Care Unit beds. This is what is contributing more to the already existing confusion," he said.
Ashoka appealed to those who have tested positive for the viral disease to keep their cell phones on so that the official responsible for contact tracing and follow-ups could reach them.
"I pray to them with folded hands that Covid-19 cases will only increase due to this. It is wrong when you try for ICU beds at the last moment," the minister said.