Karnataka Corona Cases: For first time since mid-November, weekly cases surge past 12,000 | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: With 15,365 cases in the seven days between March 22 and 28, weekly Covid-19 cases in Karnataka crossed the 12,000-mark for the first time since mid-November, the surge coming amidst a clamour for caution by experts and the Centre.

Of the 55 weeks since the outbreak in the state, the number of cases a week crossed the 12,000-mark in 19 weeks during the peak between July first week and mid-November. The surge in the past week is the 20th week where such high numbers have been recorded.
The second wave trend appears similar to the first: In the first 17 weeks from March 9, 2020, cases were under 12,000, but it spiked between July 6 and 12 last year. That week alone saw 16,264 fresh cases. Now, after 18 weeks (between November 16, 2020 to March 21, 2021) of cases remaining under control, the number has crossed 12,000/ week again.
“Compared to just 1.5% nationally, the positivity rate in Karnataka is 1.6%, which is not good,” admitted K Sudhakar, health minister. “People must comply with guidelines on masks, physical distancing and everyone eligible should get vaccinated.Containment measures are already in place and gradually, even tighter action will be initiated. The Centre has asked all chief ministers to review the situation in various educational institutions,” he added.
As on Sunday, the state had a caseload of 9,87,012, of which more than 85% of the cases came in the 19 weeks that included the weeks during the peak and the tail-end of that phase when new infections began to decline.
The other 36 weeks together, including the past six days, have only seen 15% of the cases but experts say that if the second wave is as severe as the first and the last week is the beginning of a new peak, then numbers are expected to spiral.
Caution needed


Dr V Ravi, nodal officer for genome sequencing of SARSCoV2 and a member of the technical advisory committee, agreed with the assessment and advised caution.
“The reproductive number (R. No) has touched 1.6, that is, for every 100 people infected, another 160 will get infected,” Dr Ravi said. “For many months before March, the R. number of R-naught was under one, and now it has gone back to the levels of the peak in 2020.”
Virologists like Dr Ravi and epidemiologists like Dr Giridhara Babu have been pointing to the R. No. and advocating enhanced Covidappropriate behaviour. Ravi, in fact, urged the government to enforce guidelines more strictly like it did last year and warned that if the government doesn’t act now, the spike in infections will overwhelm the healthcare system and result in more deaths.
Chief secretary P Ravi Kumar, in an order dated March 27, had asked BBMP and all district administrations “to ensure public gatherings and congregations during the upcoming religious festivals like Ugadi, Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Good Friday, etc shall not be allowed in public places, grounds, parks, markets, religious places, etc in the state”.
The order adds that jathras (fairs) associated with different religious festivals shall not be allowed in public places.

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Sagar Biswas

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