No Covid curbs in Karnataka for now: Bommai

He said that the government plans to focus more on Bengaluru as the state capital has emerged as the Covid hotspot in the state.

Published: 28th April 2022 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th April 2022 05:36 PM   |  A+A-

Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai

Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: As per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instruction, the Karnataka government will take up a mega-vaccination drive for children aged between 6 and 12 at schools, said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, but added that no restrictions on economic activities will be imposed, though the public has to cooperate by following all Covid protocols. 

He said that the government plans to focus more on Bengaluru as the state capital has emerged as the Covid hotspot in the state. Speaking to reporters after a video-conference with Modi to discuss the prevailing Covid situation in the country on Wednesday, Bommai said they explained the present scenario in Karnataka to the Prime Minister. 

Covid is under control in the state. But after April 9, the positivity rate has started rising in Bengaluru. The state government has now increased testing, aiming to reach at least 30,000 tests per day and are now conducting over 10,000 tests daily in Bengaluru. 

Random testing for international travellers is also being done. Officials are carrying out tele-tracking of passengers from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Korea and other countries where cases are high. This apart, Bommai said, Covid tests will be conducted on all severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) patients admitted at various hospitals, and if they test positive, their samples would be sent for genome testing. 

On Tuesday, the Drug Controller General of India gave approval for Covaxin by Bharath Biotech to be administered among 6-12 year-olds. The PM directed states to organise mega-vaccination drives at schools for children in this age group and also to increase vaccination of older children. The focus is on people who are over 60 years old, he added. “As per Prime Minister Modi’s direction, we are focusing more on Track, Trace, Treat and Tika (vaccination),’’ Bommai added.

Gear up for next Covid wave, says CM

There are over 50,000 beds in government hospitals and more than one lakh in private ones. This apart, the government has sufficient stocks of oxygen and 60 lakh vaccines. The government has decided to add 1,100 MT of oxygen to the existing capacity.

On Covid norms, Bommai said public-appropriate behaviour has to be followed. “Masks are compulsory and one has to maintain social distancing,” he said. He stressed on scaling up of district and taluk government hospitals and gear up for the next wave of the pandemic.

“The PM said we managed earlier Covid waves better than other nations. This is because of vaccination. Along with taking precautions, the economy should also grow and one need not panic. This is what we learnt in the last three waves.

This is why we are stressing on not imposing unnecessary restrictions. Restrictions will be limited to wherever it is needed. We are taking all the measures to control cases now when the number of Covid cases is less,” he added.

Fire audit at hospitals
Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to conduct fire audits at hospitals to avoid any major accidents, putting life of patients and staff at risk, after the tragic fire mishap in Chennai. Bommai said they will take it up at the earliest.

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