Bengaluru: Karnataka Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) member on COVID-19 and the president of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association Dr HM Prasanna on Thursday said that the number of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state has come down in last three weeks and added reducing testing rate in Karnataka could lead to third wave of the pandemic.
He also asserted on the need to fight the second wave properly and bring down the mortality rate. “It could lead to the dangerous third wave,” Dr Prasanna told ANI when asked if reducing the COVID-19 testing rate in Karnataka will lead to a dangerous third wave in Karnataka.
“If you see in the last three weeks, gradually the number of tests have come down. The state was conducting 3-4 lakhs tests per day, which has now come down to 30,000 – 40,000 tests per day, which is very low,” he said.
“After some time, this will give a false assurance that the number of cases is coming down,” the TAC member said.
Speaking further, he said, “If you do not test the asymptomatic cases and the contacts of the positive people, it will keep spreading in the community and it will be just like the sweep under the carpet. Sometimes, it will explode out. So, it is not right to reduce the number of testing and give a false hope that the positive cases are coming down.”
Dr Prasanna emphasised that the COVID-19 testing should be increased and all the patients will not need treatment but at least they can be isolated and prevent complications.
“We should not take a chance as we do not know about the third wave. We have to fight the second wave properly and bring down the mortality rate,” he added.
The TAC member also informed that the government has enough time to correct their approach to prevent the third wave to its minimal stage.
“Karnataka has a pro-active government and the state health minister himself is a doctor, he should take the lead. We should increase the number of tests and vaccination. This the only way to tackle the second wave and to prevent the third wave,” he said.
“Bengaluru has recorded highest COVID-19 related mortality rate in the country, this shows that there many are undetected cases. If we increase the testing and treat all the patients pro-actively, the mortality rate will come down,” he added.
According to official data, there are 5,58,911 active cases in Karnataka while the death rate in the state has mounted to 23,306.
Earlier in the day, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar assured that the state government is preparing to vaccinate everyone in the state by end of November.
“We are planning to provide vaccine to all by end of November. Bharat Biotech has also assured to provide COVID vaccine doses. Sputnik is also going to be manufactured in our state and the process will speed up in the coming days,” he said.