Second wave of Covid-19: Central team to gauge Karnataka’s preparedness | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: A team deputed by the central government will visit Karnataka on Monday in the wake of a spike in Covid-19 cases, which has been largely fueled by returnees and travelers from Kerala. The team will take stock of the situation in the state and suggest measures to curb the spread of the virus.
“There is a clear sign of a second wave of infections in some parts of the country,” said a member of Karnataka’s Covid-19 technical advisory committee (TAC). “Managing the pandemic in some states is likely to prove problematic and Karnataka is one of these states.”
Bengaluru is fueling the surge and the BBMP has declared nine containment zones in the capital city. A huge majority of those who have been infected have travel history to Kerala. As of now, the central team will visit only Bengaluru, but it will review the spurt in cases in Mysuru, Dakshina Kannada, Kalaburagi and Tumakuru districts.
“Over the past week, there have been nine cluster outbreaks in Bengaluru, eight of which have a Kerala link where returnees have carried the virus across the border and spread the infection among their contacts here,” said N Manjunatha Prasad, commissioner, BBMP. “In one apartment in Yelahanka, all five in a family which returned from Maharashtra tested positive. Measures have been put in place to contain the spread.”
Prasad said the central government team will visit some containment zones and measures taken to control the spread of the virus will be discussed. “We will take them to some places like apartments and hostels which have been declared containment zones,” said Prasad.
A TAC member said he feared assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, which have been scheduled for April 6, could aggravate the pandemic situation in those states and the effect would spillover to Karnataka too. “The need is to follow effective surveillance and tracking strategies, comprehensive tracking, isolating infected people as quickly as possible and ensuring quick quarantine of close contacts,” the member said.
At a high-level review meeting conducted by Union cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba with chief secretaries of all states and Union territories on Saturday, it was revealed that six states have reported a surge in the past 24 hours.
The states — Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat — have been advised certain measures, including: To ramp up overall testing in districts reporting a reduction in testing, undertake priority vaccination in districts reporting higher cases, monitor mutant strains and clustering of cases for early hotspot identification and control.
On Friday, Karnataka reported 571 fresh cases, 368 or 64% of which were in Bengaluru Urban alone. A day prior to that (Feb 25), the state had logged 453 fresh cases, a sizable increase from the 334 new cases registered in the state on Wednesday (Feb 24).

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Sagar Biswas

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