Bengaluru: The IT city continued to witness a surge in Covid-19 cases recording 833 cases on Thursday and 526 on Friday – the highest in seven weeks. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP – the civic body) Commissioner Manjunath Prasad described the situation as 'a serious concern' for the State.
Cases have been on the rise since March 1, forcing the Centre to issue a warning to the state to be on the guard and ramp up testing and tracing efforts.
Officials admitted there was a delay in contact tracing. What has added to the worry is the new variants found in the state. "The new variants of the virus - South African, Brazilian - are far more infectious and can spread faster. Contact tracing becomes even more relevant and travel history should be taken up seriously. The health department is busy with vaccination drive and there should be other officers deployed for contact tracing," Dr Giridhar Babu, member of the state advisory committee on Covid-19 was quoted in the media.
Worried over the rise in cases, Karnataka has barred large gatherings at weddings and public functions across the state, and has curtailed the number of people from the earlier restrictions.
"Gathering of people will be restricted to 200 from 500 earlier in halls or closed places for social and cultural events like weddings," state health secretary Jawaid Akhtar said in a circular. Up to 50 people will be allowed at birthday parties in a closed space and 100 people will be allowed if being held in open spaces with physical distancing and wearing of masks, he said.
The state government has also banned all late-night parties at star hotels and restaurants in the state.