BENGALURU: With the second wave of Covid- 19 claiming hundreds of lives in Karnataka -- a record 596 patients on Monday -- Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa called an emergency meeting of ministers and officials in the evening, and said they have to start preparing for the third wave of the pandemic, without wasting any time. Speaking at his residence Cauvery, he said a Task Force committee would be constituted to suggest strategies and remedial measures to combat the third wave.
According to epidemiologists and virologists, the younger generation is at highest risk. While Yediyurappa did not particularly refer to any forecast regarding the third wave, he said we need to be prepared as it could strike around July- August this year. The Chief Minister called on district ministers, MLAs and MLCs to be alert and ensure that their respective constituencies and districts are under control. He said the authorities need to start equipping hospitals and medical colleges with medical oxygen supplies through oxygen generation plants.
He also instructed authorities to ensure that issues concerning availability of oxygen, beds, Remdesivir and ICUs are sorted out immediately, and there is no illegality, as was alleged in some quarters. With a debate raging on the working of war rooms, Yediyurappa said they need to be more effective. “Karnataka has dedicated war rooms that are equipped to help patients deal with hospital accommodation, and patients must contact them,” he said. After the meeting, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that those in the 18-45 category who are seeking to get vaccinated, need to register, and only after they receive a text message confirmation, should they go out to get the vaccine.
Responding to media queries about police caning those who had ventured out, he said barring one or two incidents, the lockdown was largely peaceful, and urged people to cooperate and ensure it helps break the chain. He said police would act as per law and seize vehicles, but would not use force. DG & IGP Praveen Sood and Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant have instructed their respective staffers accordingly.