Bengaluru: Karnataka reported its biggest spike in COVID-19 positive cases in a day with 19 fresh cases on Wednesday. It also reported two deaths, one in Bengaluru and another in Hirebagewadi of Belagavi, taking the toll to 12.

In the latest, the state reported the 13 death of a coronavirus patient in Bengaluru at Victoria Hospital. 

More than the number of deaths, what has baffled the health authorities was that out of the four who died, three were severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) patients who were admitted to hospitals for respiratory difficulties, and not for coronavirus infection.

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The deceased was a 66-year-old man, who tested positive and was admitted at Victoria Hospital on ventilator support since April 10. 

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The patient did not have any travel history or known contact history with COVID-19 patients, suggesting the possibility of community transmission. The Karnataka government started screening SARI patients for COVID-19 a few days ago, in an attempt to identify the spread of the disease among communities.

The government also said that 11 of the 170 districts identified as hotspots in the country are from Karnataka.

As of 5 pm on April 15, cumulatively 279 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 12 deaths and 80 discharges, the bulletin had said.

Meanwhile, earlier on Wednesday, chief minister BS Yediyurappa set up four groups of ministers to implement extended COVID-19 lockdown and ensure smooth supply of essentials.

The commissioner, department of health and family welfare services issued a health advisory on follow up of COVID-19 patients and primary contacts after discharge from hospital / release from quarantine respectively.