Prime News, Karnataka, Health, Disease, Bengaluru, May 7:- Karnataka recorded 49,058 fresh Covid-19 cases on Thursday (May 6), taking its active caseload to 5.17 lakh. Of these, 23,706 cases were from the state capital Bengaluru itself. On Wednesday, Karnataka saw more than 50,000 cases, its highest ever single-day spike since the pandemic.
India Today spoke to Dr Sudarshan Ballal, chairman of Manipal Hospitals and a member of the state’s Covid-19 expert committee, to understand the Covid-19 situation in Karnataka and the way forward.
Here are excerpts from the interview.
India Today: Why is Karnataka, and Bengaluru in particular, witnessing this massive surge in Covid-19 cases?
Dr Ballal: “It is very disturbing that Bengaluru now has the distinction of being the Covid capital of India. In my opinion, there are multiple reasons for this. First and foremost, there is a failure at all levels, starting with the people, to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. There was an absolute disregard for masking, distancing and avoiding crowds. Secondly, there is the failure of the system to implement Covid-appropriate behaviour. Rallies, protests, religious festivals and elections have certainly contributed.”
“India is a vast and densely populated country, so if there is a fire in your neighbour’s house, it will definitely come into your house. That is what has happened. We let our guard down too soon and now the authorities have woken up and are doing something about it.”
“The mutant strains of the virus definitely had a role to play. There are multiple mutants. All of them seem to be more infectious and spread more rapidly than the original ones. We do not yet know if they are more deadly, but the spread is very rapid. It is very disturbing that 30-50 percent of people who have been tested in various cities are Covid-positive. This means even God cannot prevent this.”
“About 50 percent of the population in a city like Bengaluru will amount to almost 60 lakh people. Even the best of healthcare infrastructure cannot cater to 60 lakh people with the infection. So, if the positivity rate is 50 percent, it is very alarming. The only thing we can continue to do is abide by Covid-appropriate behaviour very strictly.” (MR, Inputs: Agencies)