COVID-19: Experts warn of surge in cases post festival if ‘SMS’ isn’t followed

Going by what happened in Kerala after Onam, experts say Karnataka is likely to experience a second surge during the festival season in November.  

Karnataka is likely to witness another surge in COVID-19 cases in the first half of November, if people do not follow the standard guidelines of SMS (social distancing, masking and santisation) during the festival season, warn experts.

Citing Kerala’s surge that happened post Onam, members of the State’s COVID-19 expert committee said social gatherings and visits to native villages for festivals should be strictly avoided.

Carrying back and forth

“People should avoid going out of the city to villages for the festivals, which they usually do. They should realise that they can either carry the infection there or bring it back with them on return,” said C.N. Manjunath, nodal officer for labs and testing in the State’s COVID-19 task force.

“With the festival season beginning in the State, this week and coming week are crucial. The ongoing Dasara festivities followed by Eid Milad, Valmiki Jayanthi and Kannada Rajyotsava in the coming week can become potential sources of another surge if people become complacent now,” he said.

Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), said the entire effort of the State in controlling the pandemic could go waste if people do not follow precautions now. “We have been able to see a decline in the number of cases now with great difficulty. The onus is on people now to ensure that the numbers do not go up again,” he said.

V. Ravi, Senior Professor and head of the department of Neuro Virology at NIMHANS, who is also part of the State’s COVID-19 expert committee, said going by what happened in Kerala post Onam, the State is likely to experience a second surge in the first half of November.

“People should realise that the virus is still lurking around and that the spread can be prevented if people behave responsibly,” he said. Stating that even those who have recovered should be careful, Dr. Ravi said, “There are increasing reports of reinfection among those who have recovered. Some people either do not develop antibodies or the antibodies do not last for long. So people who have been infected and did not develop an appropriate immune response have a risk of reinfection.”

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 8:27:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/covid-19-experts-warn-of-surge-in-cases-post-festival-if-sms-isnt-followed/article32938250.ece

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