Covid Cases in Karnataka: Next six weeks are crucial, says Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Although the number of fresh Covid-19 cases has declined due to lockdown measures, the second wave is not over yet, Dr MK Sudarshan, chairperson, Karnataka’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has said. He also said the next six weeks are crucial to bring down the daily positivity rate.
“The second wave is yet to subside; it is not over as yet,” Dr Sudarshan said. “If people continue to resort to Covid-inappropriate behaviour, crowd tourist places and gather in large numbers for festivals and other events, the second wave may not end anytime soon.”
On Thursday, the state reported 1,977 new Covid-19 cases, and the day’s test positivity rate stood at 1.4%. The state registered 48 deaths due to Covid and the case fatality rate for the day was 2.4%. While there was a slight increase in cases on Thursday, compared to Wednesday’s 1913 new cases, these numbers are a far cry from what was recorded during the peak of the second wave.
However, experts on the state’s pandemic management team, who are involved in evolving strategy to contain the spread of the virus, have said during discussions that the second wave can be considered to have ended only when the state’s daily Covid cases are less than 500 and the daily test positivity rate touches 0.5%. “Like the situation in December 2020 and January 2021 when the cases had come down to less than 500,” an expert said.
However, with weekend curfew being lifted, people have been moving around, and crowds have been seen at tourist spots in Kodagu, Mysuru, and Nandi Hills in Chikkaballapur. Experts have voiced concerns over these large gatherings.
“There is Covid fatigue among people and they move out and travel on weekends,” another expert said. “The images from Nandi Hills during the last weekend have really been worrisome. It is good that the government has taken initiatives to ban tourists congregating on the hills on weekends. Crowding needs to be controlled everywhere.”
The persistent second wave of Covid-19 infections in Kerala, a state which has the best of public health facilities, has also been a puzzle, experts said, adding that people moving between Kerala and Karnataka is a massive worry.
Dr CN Manjunath, chairperson, state Covid-19 expert committee, told TOI that it is imperative to stop crowding during festivals as the season of festival begins from August. “Public celebration of fairs and festivals and crowding because of this needs to be controlled. Such congregations may even hasten the arrival of the third wave,” Dr Manjunath said.
Third wave fears
At a state-level meeting on the pandemic on Tuesday, preparedness for the third wave was discussed. It was feared that the next wave could hit as early as August. Dr Arundhati Chandrashekar, mission director, National Health Mission, Karnataka, when contacted, said a lot depends on how well people follow Covidappropriate behaviour and on movement of people.
“Some experts suggested we may see a third wave by the end of August or early in September,” Dr Chandrashekar said.
‘Vax drive is too slow’
Meanwhile, doctors who have been treating people infected by the virus in private and government healthcare facilities in Bengaluru insist that the highest priority must be accorded to vaccinating as many people and as quickly as possible.
“At the rate we are going, we will have many unvaccinated people getting infected in the third wave. The need is to ramp up vaccination in all districts and ensure all eligible people get at least one dose, so that the severity of the disease and deaths can be controlled. As of now, the state’s vaccination rate is very slow,” said a top doctor working in a government medical college.

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