Dr MK Sudarshan, chairman of the state Covid technical advisory committee (TAC) said the statewide curfew, in force from April 28, has provided a sliver of hope although its impact has been partial because of relaxations given to some sectors, including construction and manufacturing industries.
However, infections will continue to rise in some other districts of the state due to the recent exodus of people from the city ahead of the curfew. Taking this aspect into consideration, the TAC has projected that the second wave will recede only by the end of June in Karnataka.
Chief minister BS Yediyurappa has been apprised of these projections and he will likely use them to formulate the government’s strategy post-May 12 when the current two-week curfew ends. Experts and officials from the health department have suggested continuing with the lockdown for another fortnight. Yediyurappa will take a call on this by May 10.
“The situation is expected to be much better by Saturday, especially in Bengaluru, which is a Covid hotspot,” said Dr Sudarshan. “Continuation of certain restrictions will be necessary in order to catalyse the decline of infections. The situation may be reviewed on May 10 when further steps will be decided.”
Besides apprising the government about the scenario, the TAC has shared its views with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and has suggested several steps to contain the spread of the virus.
“We have received reports which say cases will fall by this weekend provided people cooperate by strictly following protocol,” said Gaurav Gupta, BBMP chief commissioner.
On Sunday, Yediyurappa consulted senior officials and took stock of the pandemic situation. He will convene a high-level meeting on Monday.
Officials say that current logistical arrangements are focused on augmenting oxygen supply and improving vaccine availability.
Chief Secretary P Ravikumar said the state will receive a consignment of 30 tonnes of oxygen from Odisha on Monday and tankers will be airlifted for the purpose. This is the first consignment of 110 tonnes allotted to Karnataka from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, Kumar said.
He said supply of Remdesivir has almost been streamlined as the state received 1.6 lakh doses this week and supplies will continue in subsequent weeks. As far as vaccine doses are concerned, Ravikumar said 5 lakh doses (both Covishield and Covaxin in 9:1 ratio) are expected to arrive on Monday.
While this consignment is meant for the drive to inoculate those above 45 years of age, Ravikumar said those between 18 and 44 years will be vaccinated with stock received on Saturday.