Not just Maharashtra and Kerala, but Karnataka is also seeing a steady rise in the number of cases of Covid-19, marking the beginning of what could be a second wave. In just a month, the cases in the state more than doubled, most of which came from Bengaluru city.
A total of 258 Covid-19 cases were reported from Bengaluru on February 13. A month later, on March 13, Bengaluru cases more than doubled. The city reported 630 new cases, contributing to a consistent rise in Covid-19 cases in Karnataka.
Experts and doctors predicted that there is going to be a second wave. “We thought by end of February or early March, there was a definite possibility of second wave. The rising trend what we are seeing all over India and states of Maharashtra and Karnataka possibly suggests that a second wave is surging.
“For example, in Karnataka, it was around 200-300 last month. Now, number of cases almost doubled. Number of patients coming in with symptoms of flu or Covid-19 are increasing. We feel this is the beginning. To say if this is second wave, we have to wait for another week or two. Now we have around 500-600 cases. In a week or two, if it doubles to 1,200-1,500, then definitely it is a second wave,” said Dr Prasanna HM, president, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association.
The trend in the last few days shows that the cases in Bengaluru and in turn in Karnataka are going up. On March 11, the state saw 783 cases of which 492 cases were from Bengaluru. The state reported 833 cases on March 12 of which 526 were from Bengaluru urban and 921 cases were reported on March 13 of which 630 are from Bengaluru.
More than a 100 cases were reported from a single apartment complex in south Bengaluru in mid-February, following which clusters emerged from various parts of the city. The state has also reported around 30 cases with the UK strain and at least three cases with the South African strain so far.
“One is there is free travel. People are easily traveling so they are coming from high incidence area. Second, now the testing has been increased by government. Earlier, testing had gone down. Public has thrown caution to the wind. They attend weddings in hundreds and thousands. In malls, it is like a fair. We need to be careful about it,” said Dr. Karthik A, consultant doctor, MS Ramaiah hospital.
The alarming increase has got the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to remind the public that there is a limit for gatherings. A maximum of 500 people are allowed to gather for weddings in open spaces and 200 people if it’s a closed space. For birthdays and other events, including funerals, this would be 100 and 50 for open and closed spaces respectively. A maximum of 50 people can gather for cremation/burial and a maximum of 500 people for religious and political gatherings. Marshalls are now deployed not just on the roads to ensure public is wearing masks at all times but also at temples and wedding halls to ensure strict compliance of Covid norms.