Experts for stringent enforcement of Covid curbs: Yediyurappa

Fearing a second wave of the pandemic, health experts have urged the Karnataka government to strictly enforce Covid-induced restrictions in public places to contain the virus spread, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Monday.

“The state Covid technical committee experts urged stringent enforcement of Covid norms in public places to contain positive cases, which have been rising of late,” Yediyurappa told reporters after a review meeting of the situation in the state.

Hinting that the surge in Covid cases over the last 7 days could be a sign of the infection’s second wave in the state, experts told the government to keep Covid Care Centres ready and make private hospitals provide free treatment to patients as before when the virus spread across the state.

“People should compulsorily wear mask, maintain physical distance and wash hands regularly to ensure their safety from the pandemic. Covid appropriate behaviour in public places is must to reduce the caseload,” the Chief Minister said.

With 932 new cases registered on Sunday, the state’s Covid tally shot up to 9,66,204, including 8,860 active cases, while recoveries rose to 9,39,928, with 429 patients discharged during the day.

Bengaluru reported 550 fresh cases on Sunday, taking the city’s Covid tally to 4,11,989, including 6,454 active cases, while 4,01,010 recovered so far, with 198 discharged in the day.

“The only relief is Covid fatality rate is less than 1 per cent in the state with 7 deaths reported on Monday, including 5 in Bengaluru, taking the state’s death toll to 12,397 and the city’s toll to 4,524,” the Chief Minister said.

Data shows 7 of the state’s 31 districts, including Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Bidar, Dakshina Kannada, Kalaburagi, Tumakuru and Udupi have been reporting high positivity rate, which was 1.49 per cent on Sunday.

“We have decided to scale the vaccination drive across the state and increase testing, tracing, tracking and treating the patients to reduce the case load to avoid re-enforcing lockdowns or curfews,” Yediyurappa said.

The state government will decide on more containment measures after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conference with Chief Ministers on March 17 to review the situation across the country.