Govt urges people to take Covid booster shot

Dr Sudhakar warns hospitals against denying treatment to Covid patients

Published: 12th August 2022 06:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2022 06:49 AM   |  A+A-

Covid, Coronavirus, Covid vaccine, Monoclonal antibody therapy

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Expressing concern over the rise in Covid-19 cases in Karnataka, state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Thursday urged people to take precautionary or booster shots of the vaccine. Saying that only 17 per cent of the people in the state have taken the booster shots, Sudhakar said there was a steady rise in the Covid positivity rate in Karnataka.

“Not taking the booster dose even when it has been made available free for everyone amounts to negligence and we as responsible citizens must avail it to enhance immunity,” Sudhakar told mediapersons after the Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting on Thursday. The average Covid-19 positivity rate of Karnataka is 7.2 per cent at the moment. TAC has also issued an advisory that those above the age of 60 and those with comorbidities should take the booster dose.

Sudhakar said no hospital can deny treatment for a Covid-19 patient. “Every hospital must treat Covid-19 patients in isolation wards. I have received complaints that many hospitals denied treatment. This is not
just inhumane but also illegal. If any such complaints are received, strict action will be taken under the KPME and Epidemic act,” the minister said.

With festive seasons commencing, TAC has, however, not recommended to the government to impose any restriction on any socio-cultural gatherings. “People should be responsible and wear masks. The Covid panel will decide about imposing a penalty for not wearing masks in the next TAC meeting which will be held in 10 to 15 days depending on the rise in cases,” Sudhakar said.

Dr K Sudhakar said that the TAC took a comprehensive view of the monkeypox situation in Karnataka. “Covid TAC will have more experts ... and henceforth it will even give recommendations on monkeypox and monitor all other public health concerns, including dengue, chikungunya, H1N1 which are on a rise,” the minister added.  

“By this time last year there were 1,266 dengue cases, 454 chikungunya cases and only three cases of H1N1 cases... but this year so far there are 4,405 dengue cases, 978 chikungunya cases and 345 H1N1 cases. We have increased testing and for dengue alone we tested 9,000 samples last year, but tested 36,000 samples this year,” he said. 

With the Union Government approving use of Corbevax as a booster shot, Dr K Sudhakar said that the State Government will start administering the vaccine from Friday. It is a heterologous vaccine, and even those who have taken first and second doses of either Covishield or Covaxin can take Corbevax as a booster dose.


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