Karnataka may see 13.5 lakh Covid-19 cases by end of April: US university | Bengaluru News – Times of India


Swab samples being collected at Bengaluru City rail way station on Friday

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BENGALURU: Mathematical projections by researchers from Michigan University, USA, suggest Karnataka may have a cumulative caseload of 13.5 lakh Covid-19 cases by April 30. The researchers, who have been working on mathematical models, say the figure is a conservative estimate. Karnataka has already reported nearly 10.5 lakh cases till date.
The numbers have raised questions about the state’s preparedness to control transmission of the virus, but experts working with the state government insist the situation will not be so alarming, although they agree the virus is spreading rapidly.
Sources in the health department point out that similar mathematical models made earlier with the help of experts from premier scientific institutions in the country had failed.
“Bio-statistics based models have failed. We had a model prepared by a team of scientists from Karnataka in March. The actual numbers went up beyond peak projections,” an official said, pointing to the surge in cases in Bengaluru since mid-March.
Dr MK Sudarshan, chairman, Covid technical advisory committee (TAC), however, said mathematical modelling is a good science. “But when it comes to application in medicine and public health, the information does not reflect the real scenario. Various interventions by governments may not be factored in and that could lead to projections being way off the mark,” he said.
Experts say a series of measures recommended by TAC to titrate restrictions in a graded manner along with people following Covid-appropriate behavior can control the spread.
One reason for TAC recommending night curfew was to avoid crowding in closed places. “Most youngsters meet in the evening and party in closed places. They are the ones who are highly vulnerable to infection,” said Dr V Ravi, member, TAC.
Dr Giridhara R Babu, epidemiologist and member of TAC concurred, adding if no action is taken at the individual level, stricter restrictions may be inevitable. “The focus must be on strict enforcement of the mask rule, and other Covid-appropriate behavior. We must reduce transmission in closed places such as pubs and restaurants. The reason for the second wave is lack of seriousness among the public and people lowering their guard.”
Weekend crucial
Dr Ravi said weekend lockdowns besides night curfew is the need of the hour to prevent people from congregating. The weekend coupled with the Ugadi festival on April 13 and a general holiday on April 14 can lead to a lot of intercity movement. “We will shortly see a rise in Covid cases in other districts too as many Bengalurueans will travel there on the weekend,” he said.

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Sagar Biswas

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