- Next course of action to be decided on Apr. 20
- CM to hold All Party meeting on Apr. 18
- Technical Advisory Committee recommends stringent curbs like in Maharashtra
Bengaluru: Looks like the State is heading for a 10-day lockdown as recommended by the Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 pandemic. At an emergency meeting with senior officials, medical experts and Ministers at CM Yediyurappa’s residence ‘Cauvery’ this morning, senior Committee members and medical experts recommended a 10-day lockdown to apply brakes on the spread of the contagion.
Sources told Star of Mysore that the experts have also recommended the CM to extend the night curfew hours from 6 pm to 6 am instead of the present 10 pm to 5 am at all the areas that are reporting highest number of cases. Amid surge in Coronavirus cases, Yediyurappa called the emergency meeting and it comes a day after the State reported its sharpest single day spike of 14,738 fresh cases and 66 related fatalities. Karnataka had previously reported its biggest single day spike of 11,265 cases on Wednesday.
Participants of the meeting told Yediyurappa that more rigorous curfew-like restrictions in line with the type of restrictions imposed across Maharashtra was the need of the hour to control the pandemic from further spreading. Experts have recommended better enforcement of the existing restrictions while padding up other measures in line with what has recently been proposed in Maharashtra.
The experts have favoured localised and phased restrictions or closures. Maharashtra has banned people from public places without a valid reason. All establishments, public spaces, activities and services are to remain closed in that State. After the meeting, Yediyurappa told reporters that the State Government will decide on Apr. 20 about the next course of action. Till then the existing night curfew in eight district headquarters including Mysuru will continue.
Sources said that at the today’s meeting with the CM, experts told him that as Maharashtra has imposed curfew-like situation, thousands of daily wage and contract workers have started coming in large numbers to Karnataka seeking jobs and this has caused COVID cases to surge in North Karnataka. “The only way to prevent this surge is to announce a 10-day lockdown across Karnataka,” the experts told the CM.
The CM said he had reviewed the current situation and decided to continue night curfew for another four to five days. If needed, it may be extended to other district headquarters where more number of positive cases has been reported.
“We will wait for directions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and decisions of other States to check the pandemic. We will meet once again on Apr. 20 and take a decision after reviewing the prevailing situation,” Yediyurappa said.
When his attention was drawn to tough measures taken by the Governments of Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, the CM said Karnataka should not be compared with those States as the situation here was totally different.
The CM has convened an all-party meeting on Apr. 18 to decide the future course of action. Former Chief Ministers Siddharamaiah and H.D. Kumaraswamy, as well as Congress State Chief D.K. Shivakumar, and the members of the Technical Advisory Committee will attend the meeting. The all party meeting has been called as the Government is seeking support from all parties for a decision of lockdown. The Government wants to take the Opposition into confidence before announcing a lockdown decision, sources said.
Some of the points that were discussed in today’s meeting
- Corporate Hospitals can enter into an understanding with nearby hospitals to shift patients with mild symptoms to smaller hospitals
- Admit only seriously ill patients
- Private hospitals must reserve 50 percent of beds for COVID-19 patients and admit patients referred by the Government
- Reserve 1,000 beds for COVID patients in Government Medical Colleges and also reserve 1,000 beds in Government Hospitals
- Private medical colleges must reserve 5,000 beds for COVID patients
- Depute a team of officers to ensure beds in private hospitals
- Give treatment only to critical patients in hospitals and all asymptomatic cases in COVID Care Centres.
- Immediate discharge from COVID Care Centres once patients complete mandatory quarantine period or recover soon
- Additional procurement of Remdesivir injection
- Seeking 5,000 oxygen cylinders from the Union Government and buying jumbo cylinders to stop frequent replacement of cylinders
- Appointment of doctors and nurses on contract basis immediately
- Hand seal for home-quarantined patients
- Stepping up of contact tracing
- Ensure availability of RT-PCR test report within 24 hours