Health Minister K Sudhakar had said that Bengaluru was an epicentre in the first wave and second wave, and will be the epicenter during the third wave as well.

A healthcare worker dressed in a white PPE collecting a swab from a woman for Covid testImage for representation | PTI
news Coronavirus Tuesday, January 04, 2022 - 19:33

Karnataka on Tuesday, January 4, saw its cases nearly double with 2,479 cases being reported. Of these, most were from Bengaluru — with 2,053 cases reported from the city alone. Bengaluru saw 1,041 cases on January 3. Along with the increase in numbers, the positivity rate has gone up as well, with the positivity rate 2.59% on Tuesday. A total of 95,391 tests were conducted. The test positivity rate was 1.6% on January 3. Karnataka currently has 13,532 active cases, with 11,423 of those cases in Bengaluru.

Earlier in the day, state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar had insisted that there be special measures in Bengaluru amid a spike in cases, and said that the third wave of the pandemic had set in. “Taking special steps in Bengaluru has become very necessary. Bengaluru is an epicentre. It was an epicentre in the first wave and second wave. It will be the epicenter during the third wave as well,” he had said. Sudhakar said the infections went up to 1.6% from a mere 0.4% in the state, of which 90% were reported in Bengaluru.

Explaining the reasons behind taking special steps for Bengaluru, he said the city has an international airport where many people arrive from abroad. Hence, we need to take special measures, the minister added.

"If you look at the national figure, maximum cases are coming in the metropolitan cities. Almost 90% are in those cities. Hence, we are concentrating on Bengaluru with focus on formation of micro-containment zones and screening at the airport," the minister said.

In a tweet, he urged people to mask up, maintain social distance as well as keep up hand hygiene as data showed that cases in the state are doubling every 2-3 days. 

A senior member of the state’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) earlier told TNM that they have not asked for a lockdown but are looking at clamping down on mass gatherings, and that places like malls and theatres will have to be closed if the test positivity rate crossed 2%.

“We have not yet asked for a complete lockdown. Instead, we have advised looking at curbing mass gatherings, including religious gatherings. We have asked for schools to not be closed just yet, given the social dilemma of how students in government schools will cope with online classes. The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) as on Monday is at 1.6% and if it increases to 2%, then malls and theatres will have to be closed,” the member had said. 

Read: 'Third wave is here': Karnataka expert panel recommends staggered lockdown

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