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Third Covid wave on, Bengaluru leads spike

Sudhakar said Bengaluru has been the epicentre of past two waves and it is repeating in the third wave. “Data shows that cases are doubling every 2-3 days in Karnataka.

Published: 05th January 2022 05:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th January 2022 01:55 PM   |  A+A-

A BBMP marshal takes photos of a man not wearing a mask, to impose a fine, at KR Market in Bengaluru on Tuesday | SHRIRAM BN

Express News Service

BENGALURU: In a massive spike in Covid cases, Bengaluru alone has reported 3,048 positives, of which 147 have been found to be with the Omicron variant of the virus in a single day, Revenue Minister R Ashok and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said in a late Tuesday night press conference. With this, the Omicron tally in the state went up to 224.

Earlier in the day, Sudhakar officially announced the beginning of the third wave of Covid pandemic in the state with Karnataka witnessing a massive surge in positive cases on Tuesday with a whopping 2,479 patients (cases accounted between 12 am and 11.59 pm of January 3) added to the tally after three consecutive days of 1,000-plus cases.

With Tuesday’s surge, as per the health department bulletin, the Covid tally in the state has jumped up from 30,10,847 to 30,13,326 in a day — an increase of 0.08 per cent, while active cases shot up by 19.27 per cent from 11,345 to 13,532. Of the 2,479 total cases, Bengaluru Urban contributed 2,053, driving the third wave in the state.

Sudhakar said Bengaluru has been the epicentre of past two waves and it is repeating in the third wave. “Data shows that cases are doubling every 2-3 days in Karnataka. Positivity rate shot up to 2.59 per cent. If we contain the spread in the city, we can contain it in the state. The state cannot prevent the spread but can reduce the number of cases through proper measures,” he said, appealing to the people to follow norms. The last time the single-day addition of cases crossed 2,000 was on July 29, 2021.

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“The wave is obviously being caused by Omicron, which has gone loose. We are not able to detect it easily due to our limited facilities. Once we get the S-Gene test next week, we will know the extent of new variants spread more clearly and quickly,” a member of the Covid Technical Advisory Committee said.

No increase in hospitalisation till Jan 2

The TAC member said that by and large, Omicron cases are mild and symptomatic, infecting people who are contacts of other Covid patients. Till January 2, at least, the state has not seen any spike in hospitalisation. Though cases are increasing, the state’s mortality figures have remained in single digits.
Admitting that the third wave has hit the state, Dr CN Manjunath, member, Technical Advisory Committee, said the virus mimics itself with the first wave starting in March 2020, second wave in March 2021 and the new variant in January 2022.

“This, combined with people neglecting Covid-appropriate behaviour, attending congregations, festivals, rituals, visiting tourist spots and travelling, has caused the spike. The central government needs to take a decision on banning international travel,” he added.

However, not all cases are being caused by Omicron, although that is the trigger. Nearly 70 per cent of cases are still of the Delta variant and the rest are of Omicron. In a few weeks, Omicron will take over as seen globally. He said it is time to ban all kinds of day gatherings.

STRICTER CURBS WEEKEND CURFEW BACK IN KARNATAKA

  • There will be a weekend curfew from Friday 10 pm to Monday 5 am
  • The guidelines, announced by the Karnataka government on Tuesday, will be effective from 10 pm on January 5 to 5 am on January 19
  • The Government Secretariat will run with officials below the rank of Under Secretary at 50 per cent of working strength.
  • Night curfew will continue to be from 10 pm to 5 am in the entire state
  • Public transport, including BMRCL, will operate as per the directions of the chief executive of the organisation during the weekend curfew
  • In Bengaluru Urban district, all schools and colleges, except medical and paramedical, will remain closed from January 6. Classes 10, 11 and 12 will function
  • All offices will function five days a week from Monday to Friday

Nine districts complete 100% first dose cover
Nine districts in Karnataka have completed 100 per cent first Covid dose coverage among the adult population, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said. Meanwhile, the state average is 97 per cent, and all districts have crossed 90 per cent. Dr Sudhakar congratulated health workers and administrations for
their hardwork. 



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