Second wave of COVID-19 infections likely to peak in May in Karnataka: Minister

A health worker collecting swab samples of a passenger at the KSRTC bus stand in Bengaluru on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Experts who are part of the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) have opined that the second wave of the infection is likely to peak by May first week and the number of cases likely to reduce by the end of that month.

Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar, after a meeting with experts on Sunday, told presspersons that there was a need for citizens to be vigilant till the end of May.

“If there is surge in cases, our health infrastructure will be over burdened. Experts of the TAC have suggested being vigilant at the borders and ensuring that tests are conducted on travellers coming from States where the number of COVID-19 cases are high. The TAC has been directed to come up with a report, which will be submitted to the Chief Minister. Further measures will be taken after discussions with the Chief Minister,” said Dr. Sudhakar.

He said that while suggestions which impact economic activities would not be considered, experts have suggested that there must be a curb on large gatherings and crowds. Dr. Sudhakar also pointed out that there was a need for officials and citizens to be alert as many people from Bengaluru may be travelling to their hometowns for Ugadi. “There is a high chance that they will spread the virus in districts where the positivity rate is low,” he said.

Asked if the night curfew, which has been imposed in a few districts in Karnataka, would be extended to other districts, Dr. Sudhakar said it was too premature to discuss it as the night curfew only began on Sunday. While night curfew has been implemented in seven districts between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., experts on Saturday suggested that it should be implemented from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The Minister also pointed out that with COVID-19 cases on the rise in the State, there was a need to strengthen the tele-ICU system.

Home isolation cases

Dr.. Sudhakar said there was a need for better scrutiny of home isolation cases.

M.K. Sudarshan, chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee, said that better monitoring of home isolation cases would ensure that the level of hospitalisation did not increase. He said strong, good home isolation would reduce the load on hospitals.

He added that they had also told the government that there needed to be efficient utilisation of hospitals. “After a person who has serious symptoms is admitted in a hospital, avails treatment, and recovers, he or she must be transferred to a COVID care centre so that the bed can be allotted to a patient who is in need of it,” he said.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 6:54:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/second-wave-of-covid-19-infections-likely-to-peak-in-may-in-karnataka-minister/article34296598.ece

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