Bengaluru, May 9, 2021: The virulent surge of COVID-19 in Karnataka showed no signs of abating during the lockdown, with the State showing a sharp 31% rise in number of positive cases reported between April 27 and May 7.
While the number of cases in the State grew from 11.41 lakh cases on April 17 to 14 lakh cases on April 27, registering a growth of 22.6% during the 10-day period prior to the imposition of lockdown, the number of cases swelled to 18.38 lakh cases on May 7, recording a growth of 31.2% during the lockdown period between April 27 and May 7.
As a measure against the pandemic, strict restrictions will be imposed in the state from May 10 to May 24. I appeal to all citizens to adhere to guidelines and co-operate with the government to contain the spread of the virus. Let us work together safeguard each other.— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) May 7, 2021
But Giridhar R. Babu, professor and head of Life Course Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), said the effect of the lockdown would set in only after 10 to 14 days, which is the incubation period for the coronavirus. “So we might see a lower number of cases after a few more days,” he said.
The State government has already extended the lockdown till May 24. Dr. Babu, who is also a member of the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), was in favour of a lockdown to check the virus transmission. The number of COVID-19 cases in the State could have been much more without a lockdown, he said.
He said the lockdown so far has only been implemented partially and people have continued to move around. At the same time, the number of tests also went down. “Hence, people who are infected, but not tested, will keep moving around,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jeevan Raksha, a public-private partnership initiative by Proxima, a management consulting firm, with technical support and guidance of the PHFI, observed that the State has reported 4.38 lakh cases during the lockdown period so far. The districts witnessing the sharpest surge during the lockdown period were Kodagu (55%), Chamarajanagar (47%), Tumakuru (43%), Mandya (39%), and Ramanagaram (38%). “This means that the doubling period of COVID-19 cases in these districts was relatively shorter when compared to others,” said Sanjeev Mysore, convenor of Jeevan Raksha.
Also, during the lockdown, the number of active cases in the State surged by more than 2.3 lakh, from 3.01 lakh on April 27 to 5.36 lakh on May 7. The substantial increase in active cases added to the woes of the already stretched healthcare infrastructure of the State.
Jeevan Raksha also observed that the surge in active cases during the lockdown was sharp in districts that had a weak medical infrastructure and inadequate qualified medical professionals. In Uttara Kannada, the active cases increased by 219%, in Haveri by 162%, in Koppal by 161%, in Bagalkot by 138%, and in Ramanagaram by 136%.