BENGALURU: The Covid situation is making a worrisome turnaround with the active cases steadily rising even as Karnataka reported 139 fresh cases on Saturday, raising questions whether the state is moving towards the fourth wave of the pandemic.
The last time the state recorded over 100 fresh cases in a day was on March 24 when 109 additional cases were reported, after which April 21 recorded 100 cases. With the latest addition of 139 cases, the state’s Covid tally has gone up to 39,46,874.
Though experts said there is no reason to panic, the active cases rose from 1,464 on April 17 to 1,679 on Saturday, with the latest figure showing a 5.26 per cent rise from the previous day’s figures. In effect, the state’s active cases have moved back almost a month to when Karnataka reported 1,656 active cases on March 29.
Dr CN Manjunath, Director, Jayadeva Hospital and nodal officer for testing, Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), confirmed the presence of two new sublineages of BA2 variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid — BA.2.10 and BA.2.12 — which could be the reason behind the rising cases in the state.
Rise in active cases as discharges fall
However, D Randeep, Commissioner, Health & Family Welfare Services, said the presence of BA 2.10 and BA 2.12 in the state is neither confirmed nor officially reported by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). While the number of fresh cases is rising rapidly, the number of discharges are falling, which is leading to a rapid rise in active cases.
However, there have been no deaths reported in Karnataka after April 9, and the toll has remained at 40,057 with the mortality rate at 1.01 per cent. Bengaluru has remained the sole powerhouse of infections lately. Of the 139 new cases, the state capital alone reported 132 — the remaining seven from Chitradurga (2) and Bengaluru Rural, Chikkamagaluru, Davanagere, Kolar and Ramanagara each reporting one case. Also, of the 1,679 active cases across Karnataka, Bengaluru alone has 1,601.
Health officials said this is also because of people in the densely-populated Bengaluru becoming complacent after mask-wearing since the Disaster Management Act was lifted from the Covid management protocol recently due to a decline in cases. Despite the rise in cases, Randeep said hospitalisations have not seen any increase and pointed to deaths being nil over the last two weeks. “The state is continuing with genomic surveillance in Bengaluru city to identify any new sub-lineages early,” he added.