Fresh restrictions not ruled out; stress on testing, vaccination drive
Mysore/Mysuru: Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has convened a high-level meeting at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru tomorrow (Mar. 15) at 5 pm in view of sudden rise in COVID-19 positive cases in Karnataka.
A senior officer of State Health Department told Star of Mysore this morning that the meeting will take stock of the current situation and is likely to implement certain new rules in COVID-19 hotspots from where the maximum positive cases were reported.
Last month, the Government had relaxed certain rules due to slide in cases. But the positive cases were on rise again, thus forcing the Government to review the existing situation and take urgent steps to check the spread of pandemic.
The officer said that the CM will review both RT-PCR testing and ongoing vaccination drive. Medical experts have already warned of a second wave in case the Government fails to tighten the existing rules before the situation goes out of control.
The number of positive cases was on the rise in Bengaluru Urban, Mysuru, Dakshina Kannada, Kalaburagi and Tumakuru despite efforts by the District Administrations to check the pandemic. Testing has been further intensified in such districts. Target for RT-PCR test has been revised for 8-10 districts including Mysuru and Kodagu, he added.
During the meeting, the CM is also likely to issue instructions to Deputy Commissioners of all districts to mop up the ongoing phase-3 vaccination drive for senior citizens and those aged above 45 years but with comorbidities in view of poor progress in many districts. The Government wants to intensify the vaccination drive in urban areas where people are hesitant to take the jab suspecting its safety and efficacy.
Health and Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Jawaid Akhtar, COVID-19 State Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) led by its Chairman, Dr. M.K. Sudarshan, State Health Department Commissioner Dr. K.V. Thrilok Chandra and senior officers from Departments concerned will attend the meeting and give suggestions to check pandemic.
“Fresh restrictions cannot be ruled out along with the existing safety protocols announced by the Union Health Ministry recently, in the wake of casual attitude of people by not following safety guidelines like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. A cap on people attending marriage, religious, public functions and funeral has to be enforced strictly in all districts without any leniency,” the officer said.