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State reports over 3k cases, positivity rate close to 3%

Bengaluru The Covid-19 positivity rate in Karnataka on Sunday was close to 3%, which, experts said, was an indication of the ascending phase of the second wave of infections in the state and its capital Bengaluru
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Published on Mar 29, 2021 12:11 AM IST

Bengaluru

The Covid-19 positivity rate in Karnataka on Sunday was close to 3%, which, experts said, was an indication of the ascending phase of the second wave of infections in the state and its capital Bengaluru.

Positivity rate in Karnataka in the 24 hours on Sunday was 2.89% as the state registered 3,082 new Covid-19 cases, the highest since early November last year. Bengaluru accounted for 2,004 of the total new infections in the state. Karnataka had last reported over 3,000 fresh cases on November 5, 2020, with 3,156 cases.

Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar on Sunday said the number of cases has gone 10 times higher than four weeks ago. Sudhakar said he met with home minister Basavaraj Bommai and discussed if the steps taken to contain the spread were “adequate”.

He said all concerned ministers will meet the chief minister on Monday to discuss the worsening health situation in the state. He added that the technical advisory committee has said that the next 6-8 weeks are very important to contain the spread.

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A closer look at the positivity trend shows how several districts in Karnataka were reporting positivity rate above the state’s seven-day average. According to the state Covid-19 war room data, the positivity rate on Sunday in the coastal district of Udupi was reported at 5%, Bidar 3.4%, Kalaburagi 2.9%, Bengaluru 2.89% and Tumakuru and Dakshina Kannada 2.4% as against the state’s average of 2%.

“It (positivity rate) has been increasing for some time. Since it is the ascending phase for the second wave positivity will only keep going up,” Dr Giridhara R Babu Professor and Head Lifecourse Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India told HT.

The surge in new infections has taken the total number of active cases to 23,037 across Karnataka, of which Bengaluru accounted for 15,882, according to the daily bulletin of the state health department.

There were 159 new cases reported in Kalaburagi, 114 in Mysuru, 60 in Dharwada, 53 in Ballari, 46 in Bengaluru rural, 68 in Dakshina Kannada, 59 in Tumakuru and 115 in Udupi, according to the daily health bulletin.

The rise in Covid-19 cases has done little to raise caution, at least among political leaders, who are going about campaigning for the upcoming bypolls without adhering to safety protocols like masks and social distancing,experts said.

Political events and gatherings have gone unchecked even though the city administration continued to fine individuals for not wearing masks or social distancing in public spaces, experts said. Most shops, especially Saree and Jewellery, are operating in full capacity on account of the festive and wedding season. Guidelines for total number of people inside enclosed spaces remains firmly on paper and not in practice, experts said.

Political events and gatherings have gone unchecked even though the city administration continued to fine individuals for not wearing masks or social distancing in public spaces, experts said. Most shops, especially Saree and Jewellery, are operating in full capacity on account of the festive and wedding season. Guidelines for total number of people inside enclosed spaces remains firmly on paper and not in practice, experts said.

According to the state health department data, more than 470 children below the age of 10 have contracted the infection since the beginning of March. However, the chief minister B.S Yediyurappa-led state government has refused to enforce any restrictions in the state. Instead, the government has made it mandatory for people coming from other states to produce Covid-19 negative certificates to enter Bengaluru but have done little to contain the spread from within, experts said.

Even schools, colleges and offices remain open, which experts said, has been a big cause of the spread. Sudhakar said the meeting on Monday will discuss the possibility of conducting exams for school children as well.

Babu said, “Children are going to schools and parents are going to offices and there is no knowing who is bringing the infection home and spreading it further.”

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