Surge in COVID-19 cases raises concern in Bengaluru: 19 new infections detected in a single day
The resurgence of COVID-19 has become a cause for concern in Bengaluru as the city reported 19 new cases in a single day on wednesday, heightening fears of a potential increase in infection rates. The spike prompted an escalation in testing efforts to contain the spread. In response to the growing apprehension, authorities conducted COVID-19 tests on 359 individuals in Bengaluru on wednesday.
Nineteen individuals tested positive for the infection. A breakdown of the tests shows that 328 individuals underwent RT-PCR testing, detecting 17 cases, while the rapid antigen test conducted on 31 people identified two positive cases. This sudden surge comes in the context of a cumulative total of 59 COVID-19 cases reported across eight zones under the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) between December 1 and 19.
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Notably, the numbers remained relatively low in the initial half of December, with fewer than three cases reported daily from December 1 to 15. The recent uptick indicates a shift in the trend, with 5 cases reported on December 16, 4 on December 17, 13 on December 18, and a significant increase to 17 cases on December 19. Karnataka's Health Minister, Dinesh Gundu Rao, has outlined the proactive measures taken by the Health Department to combat what is feared to be the 4th wave of the pandemic. Karnataka, along with Kerala, has emerged as a hotspot for COVID-19 cases in the country, with 92 infections and two fatalities reported so far.
Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao shared insights into the state's preparedness during a meeting of the Covid Technical Advisory Committee, emphasising the need for heightened vigilance in the wake of the emergence of a mutant strain. Confirmation is pending on whether the two deaths reported hospitals were due to COVID-19. The committee meeting discussed measures, including ramping up COVID-19 testing. The minister announced that arrangements have been made to conduct 1500 tests daily, ensuring swift identification and treatment of infected individuals. Notably, BBMP Hospital Bengaluru has a shortage of ICU beds but an ample supply of ventilation beds, which will be utilized effectively.
The government, under Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's leadership, has decided to procure medications immediately if shortages arise, fostering a comprehensive approach to COVID-19 management across all state hospitals. A review meeting is scheduled to assess the current prevalence of COVID-19, infection management strategies, and the overall readiness of infection control measures.
Dinesh Gundu Rao assured the public that every possible step has been taken to defeat COVID-19. He underscored the importance of increased vigilance in BBMP jurisdictions, with zonal officials instructed to be particularly vigilant for infected individuals and to assess bed availability in BBMP hospitals. Furthermore, Minister Rao emphasized that preparations are in place to address bed shortages wherever they may arise in the state.