Karnataka

A week into lockdown, hospital cases decrease

The Hebbal flyover during the lockdown in Bengaluru on Sunday.
Tanu Kulkarni Bengaluru 17 May 2021 02:22 IST
Updated: 17 May 2021 02:22 IST

Need to extend lockdown by at least another week, say healthcare experts

A week into the lockdown, healthcare personnel have said that the caseload in hospitals has declined. This has reduced the demand for general beds. The case positivity rate has also declined over the last week. Now, there is a growing chorus from health care experts to extend the lockdown by at least another week.

On May 10, when the lockdown began, the positivity rate for the day was 31.66%. The total number of COVID-19 cases reported was 39,305 against 1.24 lakh tests. On May 16, the positivity rate for the day stood at 27.84 %, with 31,531 new cases, while the number of tests conducted was 1.13 lakh.

As a result, many health experts, including those in the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), are batting for an extension of a lockdown for at least another week. “It is a known fact that the transmission cycle lasts for three weeks from the time the person is infected to the onset of the disease. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that the lockdown is extended by at least one week,” a TAC official said.

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However, the number of positive cases detected in Bengaluru city has dipped, while the number of cases in other districts has seen a sharp rise. A member of the TAC said this was because many residents of Bengaluru moved to their hometowns.

The positivity rate in Bengaluru from May 1 to May 10 was 39.68%, while the same as on May 16 was 36.89%.

Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commissioner, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), said that the decline in cases could be attributed to continued isolation of people and reduced interaction between people which had helped contain the virus to a certain extent. The lockdown, Mr. Gupta said, had helped keep a check on the number of new cases . “This has ensured that the existing health infrastructure can cope with the caseload,” he said.

On the other hand, the number of tests conducted across the State are declining as only symptomatic people and those who are primary contacts of patients are being tested. However, the Chief Commissioner said that the civic body had ramped up their targeted testing, while random testing had declined. “There is no deliberate attempt to reduce testing. For the prevailing situation, eliminating random testing has helped ensure that those who give their swabs for testing get their results faster,” he said.

BBMP officials also noted that the number of people who opt for voluntary testing had declined. “Voluntary testing may have reduced as there is no need to present negative certificates to their employers and people perhaps have stopped travelling to other States,” a BBMP official said.

A Health Department official said the decision on the extension of the lockdown will be taken after looking at the number of new cases reported every day in the coming week.

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