Karnataka to reissue Covid regulations
Owing to the reports of a steady increase in Covid-19 cases across the country, the state government has decided to issue new guidelines in Karnataka.
“The Union government has already issued a caution alert. A slight increase in cases has been recorded in Kerala and Maharashtra in the last 8-10 days,” said chief minister (CM) Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday in Hubballi, about 450 km from Bengaluru.
The CM said, “Based on the experience of the last three waves, experts too have suggested suitable precautionary measures. The health minister too has issued a few instructions.”
“Clear instructions would be issued for Covid management in the state after the video conference with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on (April) 27,” said Bommai, indicating the possibility of more restrictions in the southern state.
The development comes at a time when the number of new cases have been on the rise and state governments, which had earlier eased the restrictions to allow economic recovery, are now mulling to reintroduce some stern measures to contain the spread.
Commissioner for health and family welfare D Randeep had on Saturday said that there was no confirmation yet on the new Covid-19 mutants, BA 2.10 and BA 2.12 in Bengaluru.
“This information is neither confirmed nor officially reported by Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), as of now,” the commissioner’s statement released on Saturday night read.
The technical advisory committee (TAC) has also intimated the same, said the commissioner. “Covid hospitalisations have not seen any increase and no deaths have been reported over the past few days. The state is continuing with genomic surveillance in Bengaluru city to identify any new sub lineages early,” the commissioner said.
There are apprehensions that Karnataka, like its counterparts, in case of a sudden increase in cases could be under more restrictions and add to the economic hardships on the citizens, who are yet to recover from the three earlier waves.
“It is important for people to be careful. The second wave of Covid started slowly but later exploded. The scientists are studying the virus variants,” the chief minister added.
“It is too early for restrictions but we have to reintroduce the awareness among the public. They have to wear masks again, those who have not taken the booster dose have to get vaccinated and we have to communicate to parents to get their children vaccinated,” Dr CN Manjunath, senior cardiologist and director of Sri Jayadeva. Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research said.
He added that there is no clarity yet on how the fourth wave will behave.
“Theoretically it should behave like the third wave itself as it is a sub-lineage and has minor variation of the virus. The severity has to be mild as people are vaccinated and there is community immunity as well,” Manjunath, who is also a member of the TAC on Covid in Karnataka said.
There were 139 new cases reported across Karnataka in a 24-hour period, taking the active caseload to 1,679 across the states, the health department’s daily bulletin shared on Saturday.
The number of recoveries in the same time period was 55, adding to concerns that the number of people with new infections were higher. The positivity rate had almost doubled, according to data from the state health department, which states that it was 1.37% in the last 24 hours as against 0.75% last week.
The growth rate of covid-19 cases has also seen a sharp uptick with 35.24% in the last 24 hours as against 16.67% last week, according to government data.
The number of tests done has seen a sharp decline with just 10,118 in the last 24 hours as against over a 100,000 a few months ago.
In the last 24 hours, 52 people tested positive for the virus, data shows.
According to the government data, the BA2, a variant of the Omicron accounts for 73.6% of all samples that were sent for genome sequencing. According to the actual number, out of the total 8,890 samples sent for genome sequencing, 2,279 have been confirmed to have the BA2 variant of the 3,775 in the overall Omicron category which accounts for 83.4%.
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