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BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Tuesday said it is augmenting its contact tracing exercise to help contain the rapid spread of covid-19.

T.M. Vijay Bhaskar, Karnataka chief secretary, issued a notification which stated that group A,B and C officials from various departments will be required to join teams in the tracing as the source of infection in majority of cases being reported in Bengaluru remains unclear.

The state reported a record number of cases with a tally of over 25,000, including over 10,000 cases in Bengaluru.

The state and Centre are yet to officially acknowledge the real possibility of community transmission even though the source of infection in a very large number of cases remain unknown, adding to challenges in tracking and containing the spread.

The rising number of cases that are being classified as "contact under tracing" has gone up in recent days. Out of the 981 cases reported in Bengaluru on Monday, 877 had been classified as "under investigation" and the source of infection is unknown in at least 104 cases of influenza like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI), according to the state covid-19 war room.

The government said the exercise is overwhelming as it is stretched for resources and is instead hoping for voluntary disclosure of details by positive persons. But with social stigma involved, several people have refrained from coming forward, officials and doctors said.

With huge backlogs in testing, falling back on tracing has added to the challenges faced by Karnataka that had been earlier lauded for containing cases during the lockdown period.

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