Active cases: Bengaluru Urban falls to second place in India

Bengaluru Urban, which had the highest number of active cases in the country for over two months, has finally managed to reduce its active caseload to 15,395 on Monday and has come down to the second position now.

Pune, which was second so far, now has the highest number of active cases with 16,960 still under treatment.

On April 23 with nearly 1.5 lakh active cases, Bengaluru Urban had become the district with the highest active caseload in the country, way ahead of Pune (1,16,602) then. The number of active cases crossed 1 lakh on April 19 and touched 1,49,624 on April 23.

By April 30, the active caseload shot up to 2,59,058 and further rose to 3,66,791 by May 15. From then onwards, the number of new cases and active cases started plummeting, but the number continued to remain the highest in the country.

Following the surge in cases during the peak of the second wave in mid-May, public health experts had recommended that Bengaluru needed a complete lockdown just to reduce the number of cases.

They had also stressed the need to ramp up existing critical care facilities and increase the number of oxygen beds. “Patients should be stabilised in early stages of the disease as any increase in severity can overwhelm the city’s health infrastructure,” experts had said.

The rise in caseload resulted in a huge demand for hospital beds and several patients dying at home due to non-availability of ICU beds and timely care. However, there was a rapid fall in cases since mid June and the demand for beds too decreased.

Giridhara R. Babu, epidemiologist and member of the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), said it was important to sustain the decline now.

“With the unlock and offices and other workplaces opening, people from other places are returning back to Bengaluru. Strict measures should be put in place in identifying cases as early as possible, especially clusters. While aggressive testing should be continued, concurrent genome sequencing should be done whenever clusters are identified,” he said.

Asserting on vaccinations, Dr. Babu said: “Employers/authorities should ensure that everyone is vaccinated at their workplaces, especially those who work in closed spaces.”

BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said Bengaluru managed to bring down its active cases owing to the hard work by officials, medical professionals, and people’s cooperation.

“We want to consolidate on the gains made. It is important now that people should remain vigilant and continue to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. Now, with increased mobility, people should take care to check transmission of the virus. We cannot afford to see numbers rising again,” he said.

C.N. Manjunath, nodal officer for labs and testing in the State’s COVID-19 task force, said authorities should continue to restrict all mass gatherings and ensure strict enforcement of mask wearing and other protocols.

“We have to watch the disease pattern in our neighbouring States such as Maharashtra and Kerala because even during the first and the second waves, cases in Karnataka surged three-four weeks after an increase in those States. People coming from those States should be traced, tested, and treated on a regular basis,” he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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