Worst COVID outbreak ever? Karnataka breaks second wave record, logs 50,210 cases

Omicron wave marked by high transmissibility and low mortality.

Published: 24th January 2022 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2022 11:19 AM   |  A+A-

A health worker collects a swab sample from a passenger to test for COVID-19 at a bus station in Jammu.

A health worker collects a swab sample from a passenger to test for COVID-19 at a bus station. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka on Sunday broke the pandemic’s second wave record, with the highest number of added cases -- 50,210 cases reported across the state, just 23 days into the third wave.

This whopping addition in such a short span of time into the third wave points to the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus, said to be already in community transmission in the Indian population.

A health worker collects a swab sample
from a boy for a Covid test at a Bengaluru
bus terminal | Ashishkrishna HP

The state had recorded 50,112 cases on May 5, 2021, during the peak stage of the second wave, with the Delta variant of the virus then in community transmission, and when the Covid-19 tally was 17,41,046. 

With a huge addition in the number of cases reported on Sunday, the state’s Covid-19 tally shot up to 35,17,682.  

The overall positivity rate (through the pandemic) has risen to 5.80 per cent.

The last time the state’s positivity rate was the same was on November 8, 2021, the only difference being that it was on a steady decline then, while it is on the rise since January 10, when it was 5.29 per cent.

The rising cases and increasing positivity rate have pushed the recovery rate down consistently since January 1. From 98.41 per cent on that day, the recovery rate has slumped to 88.73 per cent.

The last time the state’s recovery rate was in the same range was on June 5, 2021, when it was 88.83 per cent.

State capital Bengaluru on Sunday saw its third-highest case addition, with 26,299 cases, three days after the city witnessed its pandemic record-highest addition of 30,540 cases on January 20. The second highest addition was on the following day, with 29,068 cases.

Bengaluru’s recovery rate is faring even worse than the state figure. It slumped to 84.33 per cent on Sunday, just a day after it witnessed an increase to 84.94 per cent – the first time it rose since December 13, 2021.

However, Karnataka’s and Bengaluru’s Covid-19 mortality rates are steadily declining – 1.09 per cent and 1.04 per cent, respectively.

Health officials explained that the mortality rate declining is an indicator of the much lesser severity of the virus’ Omicron variant, which is known to be 70 per cent more infectious than its predecessors. 

Lower severity, although with higher infective capability, is sending the numbers into a spiral, while the deaths -- as well as hospitalisation -- are relatively less.

This is the factor pushing down the mortality rate, they explained.


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