Is India witnessing second wave of Covid-19? States remain on upward trajectory
New Delhi, Mar 16: Amid the ongoing vaccination drive, several states in India are witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases since late February and early March. According to exerts, it appears that the second wave of the pandemic is here. Also, the speed of the spread is comparable to the first wave.
In Maharashtra, the state reported a record 16,620 new cases, accounting for 63.21 per cent of the daily new cases reported in the country.
The centre has said in a letter to the Uddhav Thackeray-led government that authorities have urged the state to focus on containment strategies, social distancing and hygiene. The letter, based on the assessment of a central team, notes the lack of Covid-appropriate behavior and tracking and testing of cases.
With Karnataka seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases over the last fortnight, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday said experts had said it was an indication of a second wave and advised strict enforcement of measures to contain the spread.
The Chief Minister chaired a meeting with senior officials and members of the COVID-19 technical advisory committee, comprising health experts to assess the situation.
He said the positivity rate has increased in districts like Bidar, Kalaburagi, Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Udupi Tumakuru and Dakshina Kannada.
Yediyurappa requested citizens to wear masks and maintain social distancing at public places to balance economic activities and to avoid any further lockdown. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would chair a meeting on March 17 with Chief Ministers of various states on the COVID situation, where Karnataka would seek advice and take necessary strict measures, if required.
The CM said officials have been directed to ensure that not more than 500 people attend social, religious and other events, including weddings.
To be prepared for any eventuality, it was decided to make arrangements at COVID hospitals for oxygenated beds, availability at Intensive Care Units and setting up of COVID care centres.
The meeting also decided to hold discussions with private hospitals for providing treatment to COVID patients like in the past, Yediyurappa said. Among other issues deliberated at the meeting for implementation was to enhance vaccination of senior citizens and those at slums and rural areas and not ferrying a large number of people in public transport vehicles.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers on the COVID-19 situation and the ongoing vaccination drive on Wednesday as the Centre looks to ramp up the inoculation exercise amid a rise in infection in some states.