Coronavirus Karnataka update: Karnataka might face a second wave of coronavirus infection in January 2021 after the New Year, suggested a technical advisory committee that guides the state government in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic situation. The committee has advised the authorities to take adequate measures like night curfew to minimise social gatherings during the period between Christmas and the New Year — from December 26 and January 1.
According to a report by the committee of health experts, on closely monitoring the seven-day average growth rate and reproduction number of Covid-19 cases at state and district level, an impending second wave can be recognised. The second wave is expected to affect the state during January and February 2021.
The committee further suggested that an epidemic intelligence team should be hired to access the situation and early estimation of a second Covid-19 wave and a minimum of 1.25 lakh tests should be conducted every day; out of which at least 100,000 being RT-PCR tests, until February end to minimise its impact.
Weak enforcement of Covid-19 safety protocol, opening up of public places leading to interactions and movements, winter conditions and the inter-state movement of people were cited as the reasons behind the possible second Covid-19 wave in the city. The committee has taken cognizance of the surge in cases in Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal and Kerala’ and a second wave in countries like Australia, USA and Europe in the report.
In its other suggestion to healthcare, it said that the hospitals should be as prepared in its bed capacity, ICU and ICU-ventilators as it was when the first wave hit the state in October, ICU beds and ICI-ventilators. Mass gatherings should only be held in open spaces and night curfew should be imposed between 8 pm and 5 am from December 26 to January 1, the report advised. It also suggested a ban on New Year celebrations.
Karnataka recorded the highest number of Covid-19 cases in between July and September, where on average 10,000 people were tested positive for the infection. The number has been brought down to 1,500 cases a day now. The state witnessed its first case on March 8 and until November end, a total of 8.74 lakh people were diagnosed with Covid-19 and death toll was 11,678, says official records.