District Health Dept. plans RT-PCR test for KSRTC Kerala route conductors
Mysore/Mysuru: Confirming the beginning of COVID-19 second wave, Health Department officials have predicted sharp rise in Corona positive cases in Mysuru district due to laxity among people.
“It may not be exaggerating if Corona positive cases breach 500 mark daily during this week following new clusters emerging out in various parts of the district. The number of positive cases that was in two digits till recently has now climbed three figures. Even one or two deaths are occurring daily. The situation is quite alarming as cases are reported among students. People must take utmost precaution,” a senior officer of Health Department told SOM seeking anonymity.
He said Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri has been holding meetings of District-Level Officers on alternate days to take stock of the situation and to issue fresh guidelines. Accordingly, she has proposed opening another check-post near Nanjangud Town for another round of checking of visitors from Kerala.
The DC has given a free hand to deploy additional health staff and also to have additional check-posts to check people before entering Karnataka. Officers manning the Bavali check-post on Karnataka-Kerala border have been strictly told to insist every visitor from Kerala to show RT-PCR negative report without which they should not be allowed inside, he said.
Test must for conductors
The officer said it has been decided to do RT-PCR test for conductors of KSRTC buses who ferry passengers to and from Kerala daily. Since there is possibility of contracting virus following contact with the commuters, the conductors must now get the test done once in two to three days. Already, the State Government has directed district heads to vaccinate KSRTC drivers and conductors on priority.
Railways must act
He said since Railways has been operating trains to and from Maharashtra and Kerala there are chances of Corona positive patients travelling in it. Passengers are checked for RT-PCR negative report at the boarding point but there is no checking at en-route stations. At least, Railways can help the district administration by holding RT-PCR test for passengers arriving at Mysuru Railway Station. The swab collected by Railway healthcare staff could be given to the State Labs for testing. This will help in quarantining passengers before they spread.
No shortage of vaccine
Health and Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar has ruled out any shortage of vaccine in State. He said they have discussed this with Union Government which has promised that there will be no shortage of supply of vaccine. “Karnataka will be receiving 12.5 lakh doses of vaccine from Centre by next week. Before that, additional 4 lakh doses has been be dispatched through flight which is expected today,” he said.
The second wave has begun in the State. People should ensure COVID-19 precautions are followed. Functions and gatherings should be avoided for next two months, Dr. Sudhakar added.
Vaccine for 45-plus from Apr. 1
From April 1, vaccine will be available to all citizens above 45 years to ensure better coverage and to make Karnataka Covid-19 free, the Minister said.
Vaccination slows down
Even as Health Minister ruled out vaccine shortage, the inoculation drive has slowed down in Mysuru due to out-of-stock of Covishield since last two days. Excess stock of Covishield in Taluk Health Hospital and PHCs, has been withdrawn to administer second dose to beneficiaries. Even the stock of Covaxin was exhausting. The vaccination may be halted from tomorrow if the stock does not arrive today, remarked an officer.