From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Apr 5: Karnataka’s health and family welfare minister Dr K Sudhakar said the state needs to Covid-19 pandemic serious at least till the end of May and cannot afford to let its guard down.
Speaking to media in Bengaluru on Monday, the minister said the state’s Covid management technical advisory committee has cautioned the state government to be vigilant and must make all efforts to contain the second wave and save lives.
"Public cooperation is very much paramount,’’ the minister said and cautioned all people to strictly adhere to the Covid management guidelines, follow social distancing norms, compulsory wearing of face marks, sanitization and frequent hand washing.
"As per experts' opinion, there is a possibility of more than 6,500 cases per day in Bengaluru alone. If we do not contain the spread, we will see a further surge in cases. If a situation arises, the chief minister is ready to take the suggestions of opposition parties as well,’’ he said.
Dr Sudhakar, who is also the minister in charge of medical education, emphasized the need for increasing Covid reserve beds in Victoria and Bowring hospitals
The state government will take all steps to ensure the availability of sufficient beds. There is a need to increase the percentage of beds reserved in private hospitals for Covid treatment from the existing 20%, said the minister.
"We may face a shortage of beds if the number of cases increases drastically. We have collected information regarding the availability of beds in government hospitals. We have also initiated talks with private hospitals to reserve beds for Covid treatment,’’ he said.
46 lac people vaccinated so far
The minister said all necessary measures have been taken to ensure a sufficient supply of vaccine to the state and there is no question of shortage.
"State has received 15 lac additional dosages of Covid Vaccine in two consignments to Bengaluru and Belagavi,’’ he said.
Pointing out that more than 46 lac people have been vaccinated so far, Dr Sudhakar said, "We were having 12 lac dosages and after a speaking with Union Health Ministry additional 15 lac dosages have been allocated to our state, of which 10 lac dosages have been sent to Bengaluru and 5 lac to Belagavi.’’
"I express my gratitude to the union government for this gesture,’’ he said.
"The number of cases has been reduced due to series of holidays. We can reduce it further if guidelines are properly followed,’’ he said.
Dr Sudhakar said the Prime Minister has interacted with eight states having a high incidence of positive cases and has suggested to take stringent measures.
"Maharashtra has already imposed tougher measures, let us not push ourselves into such a situation where tougher measures become inevitable,’’ he said making it clear that we should not underestimate the scale and speed at which infection is spreading.