Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar Friday warned that the next 45 days would be crucial for the state, citing possibilities of a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
“There are all possibilities of a second Covid wave during the initial months of 2021 for which we have to be extra cautious from December 20 to January 2. These days would be the most crucial period for us,” he said in Bengaluru after meeting experts of the Technical Advisory Committee.
The minister explained that the winter period from December to February is conducive to the spread of coronavirus. “The next 45 days are crucial for us to contain coronavirus. As per the record of other countries, it is observed that the second wave occurred between 45-90 days of the receding of the initial wave,” he said.
Further, Sudhakar said public gatherings should be held only with “utmost precaution.” He specified that attendance at marriage functions should be capped at 100 persons, while the same for other religious activities and political events should not exceed 200. “Apart from this, use of masks, social distancing, and other guidelines should meticulously be followed,” he added.
When asked about the government’s plan to reopen schools and PU colleges, Sudhakar said a meeting will be held by the Chief Minister during the third week of December to decide on the same.
Earlier this week, the Technical Advisory Committee advising the Karnataka government on how to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic had warned of a second wave in January, after which measures like the imposition of night curfew between December 26 to January 1 and a ban on New Year celebrations to minimise the impact on the state was suggested.
However, Sudhakar added that a final decision on whether celebrations should be banned, as suggested by the committee, will be taken after consultation with the Chief Minister. The minister added, “It is meaningless to celebrate New Year at this juncture. People should be sensible and follow the guidelines.”
To date, a total of 8.89 lakh cases were detected in the state, with 11,821 deaths. While the state recorded its first case on March 8, the worst-hit period was observed to be from July to September when the state was witnessing an average of 10,000 Covid-19 cases a day. The number of cases has since been brought under control, with an average of 1,500 cases a day. With a cumulative count of nearly 3.72 lakh, capital city Bengaluru has recorded over 40 per cent of Karnataka’s total caseload.
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