As many as 3,338 people infected with the novel coronavirus are untraceable in Bengaluru and a search is underway to trace them, authorities have said. The number accounts for 7 per cent of total coronavirus positive people in the city.
The alarming announcement comes as the IT capital grapples with an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases over the past fortnight. The number of cases have gone up by nearly 27,000 in the last 14 days from about 16,000.
Almost half the cases in Karnataka have been reported from Bengaluru alone.
Health authorities say they have not been able to trace the missing coronavirus patients despite best efforts.
"We could trace some of the positive patients with the help of police but 3,338 are still untraceable. Some of them provided wrong mobile number and address at the time of giving samples. They disappeared after getting positive results," said N Manjunath Prasad, commissioner of the city's civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Authorities say they have no means to track their activity. Whether they have quarantined themselves after their samples tested positive, nobody knows.
"We have to ensure that all the infected persons have to be traced and quarantined. We have prioritised it so that they could be traced and isolated," said the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Ashwat Narayan.
Reacting to the debacle, authorities have decided to ask for government-issued identity cards and verify mobile numbers before collecting samples for coronavirus tests.
Karnataka on Saturday registered over 5,000 new coronavirus cases for the third day in a row, taking its total past 90,000. Bengaluru alone reported 2,036 new cases taking its overall tally to 43,503.
In the last 24 hours, 72 more people died of COVID-19 in the state, including 30 in Bengaluru. The state's death count has reached 1,796.