COVID-19 | Several districts in Karnataka see significant decline in cases during lockdown

Experts say drop in cases has to be sustained so that another spread is prevented

Many districts in Karnataka are seeing a dip in COVID-19 cases over the last four weeks. The decline is more significant in the last two weeks and the week-on-week change is above 80% in five districts.

Dakshina Kannada has seen the highest decline with a 89.6% week-on-week change followed by Mandya where the change is 83.6%. Kodagu and Vijayapura have a week-on-week change of 83% followed by Shivamogga with 82.2%, according to data from the State COVID-19 war room.

However, several urban areas in the districts are still seeing a rise in cases over the last one month. The top worst hit towns include Humnabad in Bidar district, Boragaon in Belagavi district, Heggada Devana Kote in Mysuru, Chadchan in Vijayapura and Mogalkhod in Belagavi district, data has revealed.

“Although active cases are coming down with more discharges and dip in new cases, some districts still have a long way to go before they can be unlocked completely,” sources said.

Lockdown effect

C.N. Manjunath, nodal officer for labs and testing in the State’s COVID-19 task force, attributed the declining trend to the lockdown. “This is a good sign but it should not make us complacent,” he said.

He asserted that it is very important to sustain this decline and prevent another spread. “We have to be extra cautious and ensure there is no reverse transmission from the districts to urban areas after the lockdown is lifted. The surge in districts was because people carried the virus from urban areas when they went to their hometowns before the lockdown,” he said.

Pointing out that restrictions on social, political and religious gatherings should mandatorily continue till December, Dr. Manjunath said: “If this is not done, we may invite the possible third wave much earlier than what is being predicted.”

V. Ravi, member of the State’s Technical Advisory Committee also said the decline in cases indicates that the lockdown has worked.

District committees

The TAC has recommended that every district should have COVID-19 district technical expert committees to provide technical guidance to the district administration. This is based on the State’s experience in the first and second wave, the recommendation report stated.

Elaborating on this, Dr. Ravi said the entire State can’t be locked down we cannot lockdown the entire State during each wave. “We worked as a State in the first and second wave. Now, we have realised that each district is a different entity and each district should be considered a State,” said the doctor, who is also the nodal officer for genomic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 in Karnataka.

“This is mainly because COVID-19 spread was largely urban centric till the middle of the second wave. But, it is moving rural now. It is more important to have data collection, analysis and interventions planned at the district level,” he explained.

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