In the last 10 days, the number of COVID-19 patients more than doubled in Telangana, forcing the administration to gear up for the second wave. The situation in Greater Hyderabad is similar to the other metros and bigger cities across the country, which are witnessing a spike in the number of infections. Unlike other states where a few towns have been placed under lockdown, the Telangana government ruled out the possibility of a lockdown anytime in the near future.
However, officials admit that a ‘silent transmission’ is underway with schools and colleges acting as the hotspots. In the recent past, 10 to 50 cases were reported on a daily basis from various educational institutions in the state. Mobile teams dispatched by the health department to conduct random COVID-19 tests in schools were taken by surprise by the number of asymptomatic students. To control the infection in the wake of the onslaught of the second wave, the government shut down schools, colleges and hostels across the state. Meanwhile, it was also observed that high number of cases were being detected in the districts which share borders with Maharashtra.
“The virus can spread 30 per cent faster,” said G.S. Rao, director of public health, Telangana, comparing the second wave with the first. “There are certain salient features of the second wave. The first one is that the spread is very fast. With this, there will be a huge morbidity within the community. Compared to the first wave, the severity will be low. The mortality is going to be very very low. There will also be less hospitalisation this time.”
Environmental changes, negligence of people and the birth of new variants have all contributed to the onset of second wave and the surge, according to Rao.
More number of youngsters seem to be getting infected in the new round of the pandemic. Patients aged between 20 and 40 make up for almost half of the daily positive cases recorded in the state. More than a quarter of the cases are being detected in Greater Hyderabad region on a daily basis.
As the peak of the second wave is expected sometime between the last week of April and second week of May, the state is looking to ramp up vaccination. The state is also working towards intensifying surveillance activities.
As on Friday, the total number of cases stood at 3.05 lakh and the death toll around 1,700. More than 8.5 lakh people have been vaccinated at various centres across the state.