BENGALURU: While Covid-19 cases in Karnataka have come down drastically, the state war room’s statistics for the last 14 days show that the rural parts of the state are contributing more positive cases to the daily count than the urban areas in that district. For instance, while urban areas of Belagavi and Tumakuru districts saw 61 and 17 fresh Covid-19 cases respectively, in the last two weeks, the number was 108 and 103, respectively, in the rural areas.
Normally, Covid-19 numbers are more in urban areas than rural parts because of the higher population density. Experts, however, say there could be multiple reasons behind this pattern. “Karnataka is seeing a downward trend in daily infections, so it is difficult to make any comparison. Just because Covid numbers are less in urban areas, it does not mean that the spread of infection is low. Many people do not get tested in urban areas,” reasoned Dr Shashikumar U, Professor and Head of General Internal Medicine, Dr TMA Pai Hospital, Udupi.
He explains that whenever a person in a rural area has fever or runny nose, either ASHA workers or the primary health centres are informed and the individual is tested. Kodagu District Health Officer Dr Venkatesh attributes the higher number of Covid cases in rural areas to difficulty in imposing Covid- appropriate behaviour. “Masking and social distancing are major concerns. The reason for more cases in rural areas could be due to flouting of Covid-appropriate behaviour and also crowding at village markets,” Dr Venkatesh added.
Health experts feel that SARI and ILI cases in urban areas go unnoticed and absolute numbers are coming down drastically in the state. “There may be some random cases where there could have been a cluster. For instance, if one member of a family tests positive, then the entire family and the neighbourhood may have caught the virus,” an expert told TNIE.
Meanwhile, the positivity rate over the last seven days in state has been hovering around 0.40%. However, the figure in eight districts is still slightly above the state average.