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Covid-19: Karnataka saw 21% hospitalisation during second wave, 5% in third

BENGALURU: Covid hospitalisation in Karnataka during the peak of the second wave stood at 21%, much more than the corresponding figure for the first wave (16%). In the third wave, 5% of the infected persons have required admission so far, shows an analysis by the health and family welfare department.
The highest number of active cases during the second wave was recorded on May 15, 2021 (over 6 lakh) and during the first wave on October 10, 2020 (1.2 lakh). In the third wave, the state has seen 2.9 lakh active cases as on January 21. A total of 25,992 Covid patients died during the second wave; the first claimed 12,331 lives. In the third, 204 fatalities have been recorded till now, as per data released by the government on Saturday.
While the highest single-day case count in the first wave was 9,047 (reported on October 7, 2020), it jumped to 50,112 on May 5, 2021 during the second wave. In the third wave, the maximum daily cases (47,754) were seen on January 20.
Experts attribute the rise in positive cases to asymptomatic infections treated as cases, apart from higher transmission rate of Omicron variant.
According to Dr MK Sudarshan, chairperson, Covid technical advisory committee, the third wave is driven by the Omicron strain, based on clinico-epidemiological evidence. “Based on the doubling rate, symptoms seen and most cases being asymptomatic, it’s evident that Omicron is driving the third wave, which distinguishes it from the second,” he said. He added the current clinical scenario suggests the viral infection involves upper respiratory system, nose and throat.
In the third wave, there is very little involvement of lungs, as a result of which there is minimal hospitalisation, but crowding in OPDs. There is not much demand for oxygen and antiviral drug remdesivir, and a few deaths, he added.
Further curbs needed only if rate crosses 40%: Doc
Experts say the third wave is different from the first two. While in the first, curbs like lockdown were required as the disease was new and had created apprehensions globally, in the second wave, there was gradual rise in hospitalisation, oxygen requirement and deaths. The third wave has not been lethal like the Delta-driven second wave.
“Weekly test positivity rate alone is a wrong indicator in the Omicron wave to impose curbs. A weekly TPR of 10% and above along with 40% hospitalisation should be considered to bring in any curbs,” said Dr Sudarshan.

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