Amid spike in cases, COVID scenario stabilising in Bengaluru
The coronavirus situation in Bengaluru seems to have stabilised with the active cases in the Karnataka capital hovering around the 34,000-mark. There's been a drop in the proportion of active to total COVID-19 cases as well by almost 33 per cent over the past three weeks.
The coronavirus situation in Bengaluru seems to have stabilised with the active cases in the Karnataka capital hovering around the 34,000-mark. There’s been a drop in the proportion of active to total COVID-19 cases as well by almost 33 per cent over the past three weeks, indicating more post-treatment recoveries than new cases of the virus.
On July 25, Bengaluru had a cumulative 43,503 cases, of which 31,882 (73 per cent) were active cases. On August 15, active cases stood at 34,858, which is 40 per cent of the total 87,680 cases, indicating the significant drop in the active-total ratio.
“Compared to Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, Karnataka witnessed the peak a month late. Going by the numbers, COVID-19 cases are at its peak this month in Bengaluru. It’s a positive sign that more people are getting discharged compared to new cases,” said Dr CN Manjunath of Jayadeva Hospital, who is part of the state’s expert committee on COVID-19.
However, Manjunath said the state needs to monitor the situation for two more weeks before terming it as “under control.”
Govt mulling shutting down care centres
With the numbers indicating a successful tackling of the situation, the government is now contemplating shutting five COVID Care Centres, including the 10,000-bed facility at the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre.
Rajendra Kataria, the officer in charge of various COVID Care Centres noted that there is a 20 per cent vacancy across different care facilities. Besides, the positivity rate in Bangaluru has also dropped down from 20 to 16 per cent in the past three weeks.
However, ground reports tell a different story. The care centres remained vacant as patients were not willing to get admitted there due to poor care and maintenance. Reports suggest patients had complained of lack of medical care and staff shortage at the centres. Besides, poor quality food was allegedly being supplied at those centres.
New cases continue pouring in
Meanwhile, thousands of cases are still being reported daily from across Karnataka. The state recorded 8,818 cases on August 15, its highest single-day spike, of which 3,495 were from Bengaluru.
The rise in cases comes in the backdrop of increased testing. Karnataka tested nearly 54,000 samples a day and the positivity rate hovered around 16 per cent, whereas it was 23-28 per cent in Ballari, Belagavi and Dharwad districts in the past week.
The number of fatalities during the July 25-August 15 period increased from 1,796 to 3,831, a 113 per cent spike. Besides capital city Bengaluru, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Ballari, and Mysuru accounted for more COVID-19 fatalities than other districts.
Manjunath said the situation is worrisome in districts like Mysuru, Dakshina Kannada and the outskirts of Bengaluru, where the situation isn’t under control. He attributed this to the intra-state movement of people as people have been leaving Bengaluru either due to loss of job or work-from-home options.
Meanwhile, contact tracing remains a big concern. In Bengaluru, the average contacts traced per patient, both primary and secondary, remained at around five. That was the scenario in nearly half the state amid the fear of community transmission.
Shockingly, contact tracing data of 10 days (July 26-August 5) shows Bengaluru Rural languishing at the bottom with 1.57 contacts per patient.
“Primary contacts get traced within two hours. Tracing secondary contacts is a challenge,” Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan told Deccan Herald. Munish Moudgil, in charge of the state’s Covid-19 War Room, attributed the delay in tracing to noncooperation from the patients’ side.