With more than 9,000 infections reported in the past week, Karnataka’s weekly tally of fresh Covid-19 cases crossed 5,000 for the first time in at least 10 weeks with the last three weeks consistently reporting a spike in weekly numbers.
For first time in 2 months, number of cases in a week crosses 5,000
With more than 9,000 infections reported over the past week, Karnataka’s weekly tally of fresh Covid-19 cases nearly doubled from the previous week. In fact, the number of cases crossed the 5,000 mark for the first time in at least 10 weeks with the last three weeks consistently reporting a spike in weekly numbers.
In the 11 weeks between January 3 and March 20, six of the first seven weeks saw fewer cases than the previous weeks, while one week (February 7-13) saw a marginal increase of 1.9% before it dipped by 20% again the next week. But the last three weeks — February 28 to March 20 — reported a 22%, 35% and 85% jump, respectively.
During this period, the state reported 47,359 fresh cases, of which more than 19% (9,149) was reported in the last week — March 14 and 20. The three weeks in March alone account for 37.5% or 17,757 cases.
Vaccine the key
Average daily cases too have been increasing in the past three weeks. While it was only around 520 in the first week of March, it jumped to 706 in the second week and 1,300 in the third week.
Dr Giridhara Babu, member, Covid technical advisory committee, Karnataka, said: “This is surely a second wave and from what we’ve noticed, most of the cases are those with travel history and the section of the population that had remained indoors during the first wave and was thereby were uninfected. Vaccination is the only way forward and until all priority groups are inoculated, we have no choice but to follow existing protocols of Covid-appropriate behaviour.”
So far, Karnataka has administered more than 24.8 lakh doses of vaccines, including more than 3.7 lakh second doses.
Other experts TOI spoke with also echoed Dr Babu’s observations and said that even as cases are increasing, the number of deaths is under control. One of them said that this, however, may change if more seniors contract the infection.
In the first three weeks of March, the state reported 106 deaths, of which 45 were in the last week. In the 11-week period from January 3, Karnataka reported 333 fatalities, 13.5% of which came in the last week.
Health minister K Sudhakar while stating that the government was prepared to mitigate the second wave, said last week: “There was a lack of information and awareness when the pandemic hit us last year. Yet, we were successful in controlling it. We are prepared to fight a second wave if we have one. We have the advantage of the vaccine now which we didn’t have last year. But people must follow precautions and should not let their guard down.”
He said that a 1,000-bed Covid Care Centre (CCC) is being readied in Bengaluru and that it would become operational by Monday. “I have instructed officials to ensure vaccine doses are not wasted. I will personally monitor distribution,” he said.
As reported by TOI earlier, the state government, while ruling out lockdowns and night curfew warned citizens of a severe second wave if they do not follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, especially that of wearing masks and maintaining physical distance.