Five-fold increase in Covid cases in Telangana triggers alarm

Hyderabad: A five-fold increase in Covid-19 cases in Telangana in the last one week has sent health authorities into a tizzy and sparked fears of a third wave.

The rising number of Omicron cases is adding to the concern and the situation is likely to lead to imposing of new curbs to check the spread of the pandemic.

The daily count, which was around 200 last week, surged to 1,052 on Tuesday. The infections more than doubled in 24 hours. The state had reported 482 cases on Monday.

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The number of daily infections has been rising steadily since December last week. The state had reported 317 cases on December 31. The tally dropped to 311 the next day and further to 274 on January 2 but this was due to fewer tests conducted due to holidays.

After more than six months, the state reported over 1,000 cases in a single day. The last time over a 1,000 cases were reported was on June 26, 2021 when the second wave was on decline.

The positivity rate, which was around 0.50 per cent a week ago, has now jumped to over two per cent. Positivity rate is the number of infections detected compared to the number of tests.

The number of active cases has also increased to 4,858. Health officials said this number too has more than doubled in the last one week. The recovery rate which had almost touched 99 per cent a few days ago has now dropped to 98.70 per cent.

Greater Hyderabad and its two adjoining districts accounted for 84 per cent of the new infections reported on Tuesday. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) alone reported 659 cases, a jump of over 100 per cent from 294 cases reported a day before. The daily count in GHMC was only 121 on December 29 and since then there has been a sharp spike.

Medchal Malkajgiri and Rangareddy districts abutting GHMC reported 116 and 109 cases respectively. These urban districts also saw the daily count rising by over 100 per cent.

The big surge in the state capital and surroundings is attributed to greater movement of people and lack of strict adherence to Covid norms. Though the government has issued orders that those found not wearing masks in public places will be fined Rs 1,000, the rule is not being strictly enforced.

People are also found not abiding by the social distance norms. Large gatherings are seen in marriages and other functions.

Only rallies, public meetings and public gatherings for political, religious and cultural purposes are currently prohibited in the state.

The sharp spike in cases may force the authorities to impose some additional restrictions to check the spread.

Two days ago, the officials had ruled out imposing a lockdown or night curfew. They had maintained that as per the guidelines issued by the central government the current situation in the state does not call for declaring lockdown.

Health officials say the big surge is definitely a cause of concern but there is no need for panic and people can check the spread by following Covid-19 safety norms like wearing of masks, maintaining social distance, hand sanitization and taking both doses of the vaccine.

Director of public health Dr G. Srinivasa Rao had warned last week that the next 2-4 weeks will be crucial in the fight against Covid in view of the New Year and festival season.

The official called for taking all precautions in view of Sankranti which will lead to increased movement of people across states.

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