Bengaluru’s COVID-19 positivity rate hits six-month high

As on April 22, the figure for the month was 9.78% for 16.48 lakh tests. In March, the average was 2.31% against 13.78 lakh tests

Published - April 24, 2021 08:57 am IST

As Karnataka continues to post new records in COVID-19 positive cases in the second wave of the pandemic, Bengaluru has been reporting staggering numbers. The positivity rate in April hit a six-month high of 9.78% on Thursday.

According to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s war room bulletin, the 9.78% positivity rate is against 16.48 lakh tests up to April 22. In March, the positivity rate was 2.31% against 13.78 lakh tests.

When the number of cases had tapered off in January and February, it was below 1%. The number of tests too, though, were lower in those two months.

The last time the positivity rate was higher than it is now was in September 2020 when it was 12.21% against 8.52 lakh tests. This, however, was far lower than the peak pandemic period in July when it was a whopping 23.84% against 2.19 lakh tests.

Number of cases and fatalities

Bengaluru’s case fatality rate was 0.51% on Thursday, which is not a huge jump compared to last month’s 0.46%. But the number of deaths so far in April is far higher – 820 compared to 147 in March, 88 in February and 66 in January.

In July 2020, the number of deaths was 962 when the total number of cases was 52,406. In comparison, the number of cases in April is over 1.32 lakh – the highest for a month so far, with many days left.

So far, Bengaluru has seen over 59 lakh positive cases and 5,450 deaths (as on April 22) since the pandemic struck.

Ten times worse than July peak’

C.N. Manjunath, nodal officer for labs and testing in the State’s COVID-19 Task Force, said the ongoing wave is 10 times worse than the July peak.

“The virus has gone deep into the community as the decline in cases since November saw a lot of movement of people and a go-by being given for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. Young people in the age group of 20 to 35 had a casual approach, and there’s also a a complacency factor. A lot of marriages, village festivals, protests took place. In addition, a lot of people from Bengaluru are travelling to and fro daily to neighbouring places,” he said, explaining the reasons for the spike.

But the present set of restrictions will help limit further spread, he added.

“It is virtually a lockdown. Once people’s movement comes down, further spread will be limited, and will give breathing time for the healthcare system to recover. The system was dealing with big numbers in a short period,” Dr. Manjunath said.

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