October may see surge in Covid cases

Health experts call for stringent measures to tackle spread during the festive season 
Health staffers at a fever clinic take stock of the number of swab samples collected, in Bengaluru on Friday | Meghana Sastry
Health staffers at a fever clinic take stock of the number of swab samples collected, in Bengaluru on Friday | Meghana Sastry

BENGALURU: With the festive season round the corner, the Covid-19 cases are likely to shoot up as there will be limited scope to ensure social distancing and keeping protocols in place, warn health experts. The recent Ganapathi festival was a hint towards this direction.

Experts state that the peak has not yet set in the state, the trend is now that the outer areas of the city and state have been reporting more cases. They said that with the 10-day Dasara festivities falling in October, stringent regulations should be enforced.

While the spike in cases in the outlying areas is a cause for concern, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said, “After the reduction in the containment zones norms, it has become easy for people to go out and they have not been following social distancing. People in the Central Business District are compliant but outlying areas like Mahadevapura and Rajarajeshwari Nagar zone are a big issue.” Already Bengaluru Urban has started to report 4,000 plus cases.

Dr Giridhar R Babu, Head of Lifecourse Epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India, stated, “Earlier, we were seeing cases in a few zones, but now all the zones are reporting a high number. This shows that the pandemic has reached outer areas too. However, we were seeing 3,000 plus cases per day for long. And now it’s 4,000 cases and going by the trend, these many cases will be reported for another week and then hit the 5,000 mark.

But with the festivals coming up, stringent regulations should be brought into force before it is too late.”
The state is in the second position as far as active cases are concerned at 98,474, while Maharashtra is at the top with 2,72,775 cases. In the overall numbers, Karnataka stands at the fourth position. “During the festival, cases are said to increase. Not following the protocol will be an open invitation for the virus and people are bound to contract Covid-19,” said Munish Moudgil, Incharge of the State War Room.

Moudgil added, “Cases might increase for another reason -- more testing. But if social norms are followed, the cases may come down.” Dr C N Manjunath, Chairman of Expert Committee, said, “A rise in the cases in Bengaluru can even be attributed to the increased testing. Now with the festival season coming up, we have observed that many people are not wearing masks.

The state government should lay down strict measures in advance so that cases do not go up.” Speaking about the measures BBMP will take, Randeep D, Special Commissioner, Solid Waste Management and Incharge of Public Health, said, “BBMP has been issuing circulars before festivals. Now with the festive season fast approaching, all the junior health inspectors and Marshals will be on their toes to ensure strict enforcement. The ward nodal officers have been asked to make sure that there are no social gatherings.”

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