Karnataka on Thursday crossed the grim milestone of two lakh COVID-19 cases, while a controversy broke out in Kerala over the ruling CPI-M’s decision to use citizens’ Call Detail Records (CDR) for contact tracing in its battle against the pandemic. All southern states continued reporting high daily virus numbers, with Andhra Pradesh leading with over 9,000 cases.
The number of COVID-19 infections in Karnataka breached the two lakh mark, as 6,706 new cases of the virus pushed the cumulative tally to 2,03,200. With 103 related fatalities, the total deaths stood at 3,613. However, recoveries overshadowed new cases, with 8,609 persons leaving hospitals upon recovery.
The state has 78,337 active cases, according to a Health bulletin. In Andhra Pradesh, the COVID-19 tally shot up to 2,64,142 on Thursday with the addition of 9,996 fresh cases in the last 24 hours, an official bulletin said.
The state also registered 82 more coronavirus deaths, taking the overall toll to 2,378.
Also, 9,499 patients were discharged from hospitals during the period, making it a cumulative of 1,70,924 recoveries so far. The state now has 90,840 active Covid-19 cases.
Kerala posted its highest ever single day spike of 1,564 COVID-19 cases today, as the total infection count in the state touched 39,708. The opposition Congress took exception to the government’s decision to allow police to access phone CDR of COVID-19 patients for effective contact tracing, saying it is an “infringement” on the privacy of citizens.
“Police collecting phone details is an infringement on the privacy of an individual, which is against the Supreme Court’s latest judgment in the K S Puttaswamy case,” Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said CDRs were being used by police in the state as part of adopting innovative and scientific methods for effective contact tracing.
The details would not be used for any other purpose and there would be no intrusion into the privacy of the patients, he told the media yesterday, adding this was the “most effective” way of contact tracing and the state had been using this method for a few months.
Tamil Nadu, which has the highest number of positive cases of the deadly virus after Maharashtra, recorded 5,835 new infections and 119 deaths today, taking the tally to 3,20,355 and the toll to 5,397. From several hospitals, 5,146 patients got discharged and 2,61,459 people have recovered till date while the active cases stood at 53,499.
Telangana reported 1,931 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the overall tally to 86,475, while the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the virus hotspot in the state,witnessed a considerable dip in the number of new patients.
Eleven more fatalities took the death toll in the state to 665.