Karnataka to decide on future course of action to control

·5-min read

COVID-19 on April 20, curfew to continue: CM (Updating with minister sharing details of the meeting) Bengaluru, Apr 16 (PTI) COVID-19-related restrictions like 'corona curfew' that are in place will continue and the government will decide on the future course of action aimed at controlling its spread on April 20, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Friday.

At an emergency meeting held today under his leadership, it has been decided to strictly prohibit unnecessary gatherings and to limit the number of people attending marriages and events to 100 from 200 in closed spaces and 200 (from 500) in open spaces.

'We have discussed the report from experts, the curfew that is in place between 10 pm to 5 am at some district centres will continue and we are thinking about in which other districts it needs to be extended. No other decision has been taken today,' Yediyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters after chairing an emergency meeting with Health Minister K Sudhakar and top officials for about one-and-half hours, he said the Covid situation was going out of control in Bengaluru and few other places.

'After this week, (on April 20) we will sit once again and discuss and come to a decision depending on the advice of the Prime Minister and what decisions other states will take. I have gathered all the information.. we have discussed this on priority and we will take all the necessary measures at the earliest,' he added.

According to sources, the state's Technical Advisory Committee on COVID has reportedly recommended more rigorous curfew-like curbs and enforcement measures in the state.

Following the video conference with PM Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister had last week announced a corona curfew between 10 pm to 5 am in district centres of Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Tumakuru, Udupi-Manipal, from April 10 to 20, aimed at controlling the virus spread.

In response to a question about strict measures being taken by states like Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, among others, Yediyurappa said an appropriate decision will be taken.

'Don't compare our state with others, we have our own reasons, so as of now there is no change and restrictions that are in place will continue till April 20...' Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, the state government has convened an all-party meeting on April 18 at 4 pm to discuss strategies to control the spread of infections.

Karnataka on Thursday had reported its biggest single day spike of 14,738 new cases of COVID-19, and 66 deaths, taking the number of infections to 11,09,650 and toll to 13,112. Of the fresh cases, 10,497 were from Bengaluru Urban alone. Total number of active cases stood at 96,561.

Sharing details of the meeting, Health Minister Sudhakar said ahead of the all party meeting, a meeting of legislators and Ministers in Bengaluru has been called on April 18 morning to discuss measures that need to be taken to control the spread and regarding treatment for patients.

He pointed out the number of cases were increasing the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits and stressed the importance of containing the spread, ramping up tests, keeping vigil on those who are in isolation and quarantine besides enhancing containment zones.

He advised those with mild or moderate symptoms to use the makeshift hospital facility at hotels as about 95 per cent of those who test positive do not require hospitalisation.

Big private and corporate hospitals will have to come to an agreement with three, four and five star hotels-- at least ten of them in the city-- to convert them into makeshift hospitals for treatment of such patients.

'...I appeal to those with mild or moderate symptoms, if you still feel that you need to be under a doctor's supervision use the makeshift hospital facility made at hotels,' he said.

Noting that arrangements are being made for 3000 beds at these makeshift hospitals, the minister said only those with severe symptoms should get admitted in the hospitals and an order to this effect will be issued soon.

At government medical college hospitals in Bengaluru, it has been decided to reserve 1,000 beds and in the same way, private medical college hospitals will reserve about 5,000 beds for COVID patients, he said.

Further it has been decided to reserve 1,000 beds at government hospitals and 50 per cent beds at private hospitals for COVID patients prescribed by the government.

Nodal officers have been appointed for the convenience of the patients who need hospitalisation.

Sudhakar said one ambulance has been deployed to each ward in Bengaluru city and also 49 'Shraddanjali vans' (to carry dead bodies of COVID patients) have been deployed and they will operate free of cost.

Relatives of the deceased need not pay any amount for cremation or last rites as it has been made free, he said.

He said there was no shortage of Remdesivir and government had a stock of over 30,000 vials.

'Other than this, we have issued a tender for procuring 80,000 more vials and it will be finalised in a couple of days.' Private hospitals will also be supplied based on the requirements, he said.

Tender has been invited for setting up oxygen units at all government district hospitals and the Centre has been requested for supply of 5,000 oxygen cylinders.

Frontline workers like Doctors, nursing and paramedic staff as per requirement will be recruited temporarily on a contract basis, Sudhakar said.

'Increasing tracing, testing and getting the report within 24 hours will be our prime focus.' Micro containment and containment zones in Bengaluru and other major cities will be given priority, he said, adding unnecessary gatherings of people have been prohibited.

'Restrictions on the number of people gathering for marriages and events has been brought down from 200 to 100 in closed spaces and 500 to 200 in open spaces,' he said. PTI KSU BN BN