‘Surge in rural hinterland in Chamarajanagar a concern’

More youngsters testing positive in the second wave

The impact of the second wave of COVID-19 is being felt more in rural hinterland than in urban areas in Chamarajanagar district which has raised concerns for the district administration.

A review and analysis of the last few days of the COVID-19 cases indicated that Chamarajanagar district reported 2,255 cases between April 1 and 25 of which 1,697 were from the rural hinterland most of which escaped the brunt of the first outbreak last year. The urban areas in Chamarajanagar had reported only 558 cases.

Deputy Commissioner of Chamarajanagar M.R. Ravi told media persons on Monday that equally worrying was that the age group of those testing positive was below 45 years. Of the 2,255 cases reported in the last 25 days, 1,061 cases were between 21 and 40 years. The DC said youth seem to be more complacent about the pandemic as evident in their reluctance to wear masks and this was reflected in the increase in COVID-19 cases among them.

He suspected that the surge in rural areas could be the graded unlocking and the series of events that were observed as in pre-pandemic days. This could be festivals, weddings and jathras, etc which enabled transmission and hence called upon people not to lower their guard.

Also, only 68% of those who are testing positive are asymptomatic where as 90% used to be asymptomatic when the pandemic broke out last year. The surge in rural areas and the age group of the majority of the patients indicate that the youngsters may not be following the appropriate behaviour and hence this calls for more caution and greater vigil among the youth, said Mr. Ravi.

What is significant is that the number of people above 60 years testing positive – suspected to be among the more vulnerable section of the population – was not high. Only 215 people aged above 60 had tested positive and this could be due to the vaccination coverage in this group when the drive was first rolled out in January, Mr. Ravi added. In the same period, 13 deaths were reported none of whom were vaccinated, he disclosed.

“In the light of the above it is evident that vaccination was a must and hence I appeal to all above 45 years to volunteer to take the jab and protect themselves,” said Mr. Ravi.

In all, there were 1,492 COVID-19 cases in Chamarajanagar district including 283 new cases that were added on Sunday and 125 people have died due to the pandemic.

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