BENGALURU: Karnataka will cross the 10 lakh Covid-positive cases, and Bengaluru 4.2 lakh by November 12, while the total number of lives claimed by the pandemic would touch 12,800 in the state, projected an estimate by a private firm.
The predictions were made by Jeevan Raksha, an initiative of management consultancy firm Proxima. The 12 high-prevalence states, which include Karnataka, will collectively contribute over 70% of total Covid cases and 77 % of total deaths in the country.
“The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) has not reduced for over 10 weeks, meaning the virus is spreading faster and wider in the state. As per the current trend, Karnataka’s cases are likely to increase by 35-40%,” said Sanjeev Mysore, convener of the Jeevan Raksha project.
Till the lockdown 4.0, Karnataka conducted only 19% tests and contributed only 2% of positive cases and deaths. However, in Unlock 1.0-2.0 deaths and cases in the state shot up to 98% and tests to 81%. “The surge in mortality during Unlock 1.0 and 2.0 was primarily due to poor testing. It has now led to panic testing, but we need accurate testing,” he said.
Dr Giridhar R Babu, Head of Lifecourse Epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India, said that to reduce TPR, “Increased testing using Rapid Antigen Tests by following a syndromic approach is the first step. Also, the proportion of RT-PCRs should be increased for all symptomatic who test negative in RAT. Each district should be assessed in terms of testing strategy and numbers till we reach optimum levels of test positivity.”
Demand for critical med infra
The projections revealed that the surge will lead to an increase in demand for critical medical infrastructure. “Karnataka might require 22,500 oxygen beds, 16,800 ICU beds, and 11,200 ventilators over the next three to six weeks,” Sanjeev said.
Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Commissioner, Health and Family Welfare, said, “In the past week, positive cases have come down and the postivity rate graph is declining. This is only because we are testing in high numbers and identifying and isolating people early. Now with strict enforcement of masks, we are seeing reduced numbers. We have created enough infrastructure at taluk and district hospitals.”
B’luru to see 4.2L cases
Bengaluru Urban has the maximum number of active cases among cities and has an 8% share of total active cases in India. The number of cases is likely to increase to 4.2 lakh and Bengaluru Urban might require 13,000 oxygen beds, 10,000 ICU beds and 6,500 ventilators in the next four-six weeks.
Randeep D, BBMP Public Health In-charge, said, “We have been conducting over 35,000 tests daily. We have increased the number of private Covid hospitals from 31 to 49. Soon, more ICU beds are going to be added at government hospitals. Right now, we have the infrastructure and are also ramping up.”