The chief minister on Monday warned that the government may take extreme steps like lockdown if people do not follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
“We have already imposed a night curfew. People should adopt Covid-appropriate behaviour. Otherwise, we will be left with no other option but to take stern decisions,” he said at Bidar while campaigning for the bypolls in Basavakalyana.
The government has also decided to convene a meeting with leaders of all political parties to hear their suggestions on what needs to be done to control Covid. “I will hold a meeting with all party leaders on April 18 or 19. DK Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah, HD Kumaraswamy… all of them will be invited and we will hear from them on what needs to be done to control Covid,” Yediyurappa said.
The sudden surge in Covid cases has put pressure on hospitals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had a telephone call with Yediyurappa on Sunday to discuss the Covid situation in the state. Deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayan, after a review meeting of the Covid situation in Bengaluru West, told reporters there was no possibility of the government announcing a lockdown.
JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said any talk of lockdown or the ongoing night curfew was meaningless as government ministers themselves had “indulged in irresponsible behaviour” by freely organising political events and being part of large gatherings.
After reporting 6,000-7,000 cases in the past few days, the daily numbers breached the 10,000-mark on Sunday and most of these cases were from the capital.
Some members in the technical advisory committee meeting on Sunday had favoured a lockdown on weekends to curb a higher increase in the caseload. Some experts are said to have predicted the daily caseload to rise up to 30,000 per day by early May.
Meanwhile, the state government has made it mandatory for all private hospitals to reserve half of their total beds for Covid patients similar to how beds were managed during the first wave. Health minister K Sudhakar said the government has advised private hospitals to vacate beds occupied by non-Covid patients who don’t require hospitalisation and reserve the same for Covid patients.
“Patients without symptoms and with mild symptoms will be isolated in hotels and Covid care centres,” he said.
On the shortage of Remdesivir, which is widely used to treat Covid patients, Sudhakar said drug companies have stopped production. “Private hospitals have complained that the medicine is not available in the market. We will discuss the issue with drug controllers and supply the medicine to private hospitals at government rates,” Sudhakar said.
State reports 9,579 Covid cases
Karnataka’s Covid case count increased further as the state added 9,579 cases and 52 deaths on Monday. The new cases took the active cases to 75,985 and fatalities to 12,941. Bengaluru Urban alone accounted for 6,387 cases and 40 deaths, while districts such as Mysuru, Tumakuru and Bengaluru Rural too have reported a surge. The positivity rate has increased to 8.24% and the case fatality rate is at 0.54%.
Warning to people
The CM said the govt may take extreme steps like lockdown if people do not follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
‘Ministers not being responsible’
Kumaraswamy said any talk of lockdown or the ongoing night curfew was meaningless as government ministers themselves had “indulged in irresponsible behaviour” by freely organising political events.