Lockdown must be extended for two more weeks in Karnataka, state yet to reach COVID peak: Expert
Dr Giridhara Babu, who is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee on COVID, said the case detection is presently erratic because the testing numbers have reduced, especially in Bengaluru.
BENGALURU: A health expert on Thursday suggested extension of lockdown by two more weeks in Karnataka, saying the state is yet to reach peak though it has been reporting over 50,000 cases.
"At least in two weeks we will see a peak in Karnataka," Dr Giridhara R Babu, who is a professor and head of Life Course Epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India, told PTI.
Babu, who is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee on COVID, said the case detection is presently erratic because the testing numbers have reduced, especially in Bengaluru.
"I will not give a clear indication on the number of cases during the peak, but irrespective of the testing, we will see the peak in the next two weeks," he said.
Hailing the decision of the state government to impose lockdown from April 27 to May 12, Babu citing an estimate by IISC, said the state has saved 5,800 lives.
"Lockdown has helped in reducing the number of deaths, according to the models by IISc Professor Sashikumaar Ganesan. So, I recommend that the lockdown be extended by at least two weeks," Babu opined.
He added that there will be an increase in fatalities at least 10 to 14 days from the date of cases being reported.
On the measures to be taken in view of surge in infections, he said triage could be a game changer in the fight against COVID.
According to Babu, there should be more screening and triage centres with oxygen supply all over Bengaluru where the COVID cases are high.
"These (Triaging centres) should be set up every five kilometres. By doing this kind of enhanced triage by using existing manpower, we can tide over the crisis," he claimed.
While daily infections and active cases in the state are rising alarmingly, the fatalities too are spiralling.
On Wednesday alone, there were 346 deaths taking the total deaths so far to 16,884.
Bengaluru was the main contributor of COVID cases in Karnataka with 23,106 infections and 161 fatalities on a single day taking the total infections and deaths to 8,63,380 and 7,006 cumulatively.
The city had 3.13 lakh active cases as on Wednesday.