Amid a spike in coronavirus cases in the state, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Sunday said that the experts have warned of a peak in infections by the first week of May. The Minister also said experts have been asked to submit a report, based on which the government would take appropriate measures in the days to come.
"According to experts any wave will be there for 80 to 120 days, we have to be careful till May end, as this is just the beginning," Sudhakar said.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with the technical advisory committee (TAC) and expert committee on COVID-19 constituted by the government, he said the infections may peak during the next two to three weeks by May first week and decline by the end of that month.
"They (experts) have given several suggestions and I have asked them to submit in a report format, which I will discuss with the Chief Minister and other senior Ministers and officials.
The suggestions are with scientific evidence, based on which the government will take necessary measures in the days to come," he added.
Noting that experts will not be giving any suggestions that will hamper the economic activities, the Minister said but they have asked us to control people from gathering at places for various reasons, at any cost.
Not wanting to give any direct answers to a question about suggestions by experts regarding lockdown, he merely said a detailed report has been sought from them, which will be discussed at the government level and a decision will be taken.
Asked about extending the corona curfew to other districts, he said it is premature as the curfew has come into effect since last night, and only after analysing for three to four days, it will be looked into.
Following the video conference with PM Narendra Modi, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday had announced a curfew between 10 pm to 5 am in seven district centres of the state along with Manipal, from April 10 to 20, aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19.
Director of Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology and member of the TAC Dr C N Manjunath said Bengaluru alone may report 15,000 to 18,000 cases a day by May 15, as per the provisional estimates.
"Of 7,000 fresh cases that the state is reporting, lion's share is from Bengaluru. By May 15 there are chances of it increasing as per the mathematical projection. Bengaluru is reporting in the range of 5,500 to 6,000 cases, and as per provisional estimate, the city alone may report 15,000 to 18,000 infections and we need to be prepared for it," he said.
Infections are increasing among youths between 20-40 years of age. He said if COVID has to come under control, public cooperation is important, and enforcement of restrictions where people gather in large numbers is of utmost importance.
Citing inputs offered by experts on the trajectory of the infection in the days to come, Sudhakar said when the cases peak, the number of people requiring hospitalisation or in need of bed will increase, also we will have to strictly monitor those in home isolation.
The experts have most importantly advised about procuring certain medicines from now itself and supplying them to private hospitals too, also about strengthening telemedicine, tele ICU and triaging, he said. Pointing out that Ugadi and other festivals are coming up and people will travel to their native place from Bengaluru and may carry the virus along with them, Sudhakar said experts have stressed on the need for it to be checked.
"We will not get to know about the spike and spread immediately, we will get to know after about 10 days as it happened during the first wave. Inter-state travels have to be monitored very strictly according to experts," he added.
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