Covid spike: Ugadi travel worries experts

Say this may lead to massive spike in cases across districts, ask people to stay vigilant

Published: 11th April 2021 05:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th April 2021 05:58 AM   |  A+A-

A health worker collects a sample from a young passenger for an RT-PCR test at Majestic Bus Terminal on Saturday | shriram BN

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The long holiday season, including the weekend and Ugadi festival, could lead to a spike in Covid cases across districts with many people entering Karnataka from other states, said members of the Technical Advisory Committee.

Dr Giridhara R Babu, a senior epidemiologist and a member Covid-19’s Technical Advisory Committee, said, “Due to inter-state travel, we will definitely see new cases coming to other districts. Bengaluru Urban has the highest number of cases in the state now, and there are many districts where the situation has been under control so far.” With increased travelling this weekend and the coming week, the cases would spike, health experts feared.

Dr Manjunath CN, member of TAC and Director, Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology, said people should not let their guard down at this crucial time when the next 1o days are important to decide the direction of the Covid second wave. “We may reach the same or worse situation than we saw during the first wave if we don’t contain the spread. If they can, people should avoid travelling. Otherwise, the healthcare system in all Tier 2 cities will be burdened and we may start struggling with non-availability of beds,” he said.

Experts feared that the State Government may have to resort to weekend lockdowns, besides night curfew to prevent people from congregating. Despite several warnings and government order banning public celebrations, there is already a huge rush in markets across Karnataka, said the members.

“There is a rush to buy new clothes, flowers, fruits, ration etc for the festival. Several people can be seen thronging the malls, markets for Ugadi shopping. This will lead to a surge,” warned a member of TAC.
“Several people from Bengaluru have travelled by trains because of non-availability of KSRTC buses to various districts in the state and also to other states. When they return from states, where the prevalence of Covid is high, we could see a spike here,” explained another member.

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