BENGALURU: The COVID-19 experts in Karnataka expect that the state may witness coronavirus infections touching the peak on January 25 before coming down gradually, Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka said on Monday.
"The experts are of the opinion that the COVID cases may reach the peak on January 25, after which it will gradually decrease. They were also of the view that the state should reduce testing from over two lakh a day to about 1.5 lakh as it does not help much," Ashoka told reporters after the meeting on COVID-19 which was chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
The minister added that the decision on extending the weekend curfew would be taken in the next emergency meeting on Friday.
He, however ruled out any possibility of lockdown in the state.
"Will wait for the peak to decide on extending the weekend curfew as it impacts public life," Ashoka said.
On vaccination against COVID for children between 15 and 18 years, he said it was decided at the meeting to intensify it.
To a query on the appeal of hoteliers not to impose weekend curfews, Ashoka said "We cannot risk the lives of 6.5 crore people to help hoteliers by lifting the weekend curfew. We will go by the experts, Centre and WHO's advisory on COVID," Ashoka said.
Later, a statement issued by the office of the Chief Minister said that instructions were issued for focusing more on Outpatient Departments in Bengaluru and deploying more personnel there.
Bommai suggested officers to control people getting admitted for triaging and attending to the phone call of those under home isolation.
"The COVID patients with comorbidities should be contacted at least once in a day and they should be enquired about their health to instill a sense of confidence in them," the statement said.
It was decided in the meeting that precautionary measures should be taken to ensure that the infection does not spread to other members of the family.
Along with it, medicinal kits should be effectively delivered to home isolated cases, the statement read.
It added that the experts opined that local doctors should be involved for consultation, Stress was laid on giving priority to infected children, especially in rural areas.
Their parents should be counseled and separate medical kits should be prepared for children.
Regarding oxygen, instructions were issued to get oxygen plants ready for use any time along with necessary personnel and fuel.
Bommai directed the officials to conduct graded type testing as the Indian Council for Medical Research norms under the Government of India guidelines.
The government decided to pursue with the deputy commissioners and the chief executive officers of the district Panchayats of those districts through video conference, which are lagging behind in second dose vaccination.
Other topics discussed were arranging generator systems in hospitals, monitoring children and senior citizens, speedy completion of vaccination drive, procurement and supply of medicines Meanwhile, Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant on Monday ordered banning rallies, demonstrations and protests and congregation of more than 200 people in open places and 100 people in closed places during marriages till January end under section 144 (1) of the CrPC.
Karnataka on Monday reported 27,156 fresh COVID-19 infections and 14 deaths taking the total caseload and fatalities in the state to 32,47,243 and 38,445 respectively, the health department said.
The state had reported 34,047 cases and 13 deaths in the state on Sunday.
With the decline in cases compared to Sunday, the test positivity rate too dropped from 19.29 per cent to 12.45 per cent.
The case fatality rate was 0.05 per cent.
In its daily bulletin, the department said 7,827 people were discharged, taking the total number of recoveries to 29,91,472.
The active cases stood at 2,17,297.
Bengaluru Urban district led the spike in cases in Karnataka with 15,947 infections and five deaths.
Other districts too recorded fresh cases, including 1,770 in Mysuru, 1,147 in Tumakuru, 1,050 in Hassan and 784 in Dharwad.
There were three deaths in Dakshina Kannada and one each in Chikkaballapura, Dharwad, Kalaburagi, Ramanagara and Tumakuru.
There were zero fatalities in 23 districts.
A total of 2,17,998 samples were tested in the state, including 1,81,136 RT-PCR tests on Monday, taking the cumulative number of specimens examined so far to 5.92 crore.
There were 2,16,816 inoculations done taking the total vaccinations so far to 9.17 crore, the department said.