BENGALURU: After a steady surge in cases through July, August and September, the Covid curve is on a downward trend in Karnataka, raising the question of a second wave. However, for now, the state government can take a breather as cases remain low.
“The curve is at a flattening stage. Despite testing more, the positivity rate is 1- 1.5%. Going by the disease pattern in Europe, a second surge occurs after 2-3 months. We need to wait and watch if that happens to us in February and March,” said Dr C N Manjunath, state nodal officer for Covid testing.
A second surge is being seen in European countries and even places such as New Delhi and Mumbai in India. While some experts classify the pandemic into phases, others do not. “We cannot say phase-1, phase-2, etc. But we can classify a pandemic as imported or indigenous. There was and continues to be community spread in Karnataka, but we are past the first peak.
There has been a downward trend since October 11,” said Dr Pradeep Banandur, epidemiologist at NIMHANS. Going by the trajectory in Europe, Karnataka should expect a surge in cases with the economy opening up, said Dr Satyanarayana Mysore, HOD of pulmonology at Manipal Hospital. “People’s immunity levels might drop in three months, which can also be the cause for a second wave to start. The next 3 months are crucial. If people don’t take precautions, we might see a second wave,” Dr Mysore said.
He also warned against “pandemic fatigue”, wherein people simply get fed up of following precautions and lower their guard, causing cases to rise. “People should continue to take precautions and follow Covid norms,” he said. However, Dr Giridhar R Babu, senior epidemiologist and member of the state’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee, pointed out that the spread of the disease across the state was not uniform.
“It has only flattened in central areas of the state. Some districts are still seeing more cases. More testing needs to carried out in districts, just as it was done in the city. Our first wave has still not come to an end,” Dr Babu said.