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With 626 deaths, Karnataka logs highest single-day toll, child-exclusive CCC begins operations in Bengaluru

Meanwhile, recoveries (35,573) continued to outnumber new cases (25,979) reported from across the state. As many as 1,25,117 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, as the test positivity rate (TPR) further dipped to 20.76 per cent.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal |
Updated: May 24, 2021 9:13:18 am
Karnataka, Covid-19A healthcare worker collects a swab sample at the Bengaluru City Railway Station. (Photo: PTI)

Karnataka, on Sunday, reported 626 more Covid-19 deaths, the highest single-day toll recorded in the state since the pandemic began. While 362 of them were from Bengaluru Urban, the fatalities in other districts were Bengaluru Rural (30), Mysuru (22), Ballari (18), and Uttara Kannada (17).

With this, the cumulative toll in the state has risen to 25,282 since March 10 last year.

Meanwhile, recoveries (35,573) continued to outnumber new cases (25,979) reported from across the state. As many as 1,25,117 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, as the test positivity rate (TPR) further dipped to 20.76 per cent.

At the same time, Bengaluru Urban registered 7,494 fresh cases and 12,407 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

Karnataka plans to set up oxygen generator units in all taluks: Nirani

The state government is planning to set up oxygen generator units in all taluks, Karnataka Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani said on Sunday.

“Setting up oxygen generator units in taluks will help us in the future to overcome the crisis that the state is witnessing today,” he said.

However, Nirani denied the allegations that the state was facing a shortage in medical oxygen supply even as the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic witnessed its peak earlier this month.

“There is no oxygen shortage in the state. While we have oxygen in plenty, the shortage we face is for containers to store and transport it. To bridge this gap, the work to manufacture 500 containers daily is underway in Kalaburagi. Soon, we shall overcome shortage of oxygen containers in the state,” he claimed. He added that the oxygen cylinder manufacturing plant is being set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Responding to a query raised by reporters in Mysuru, Nirani expressed confidence that chief minister B S Yediyurappa would complete his term.

“There is no question of leadership change in the state and CM Yediyurappa will complete his full term. He has been handling the pandemic effectively and the talk of leadership change is just a rumor,” he said.

The BJP minister added, “We will face the next election under his leadership.”

Karnataka launches SMS-based Remdesivir allocation, information system to curb misuse

The Karnataka government, Sunday, launched an SMS-based Remdesivir allocation and information system aimed at mitigating misuse and black-marketing of the antiviral drug which continues to be on huge demand amid the ongoing second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. As per the new system, the patient will get an SMS informing which hospital is provided the medicine against the SRF (Specimen Referral Form) ID.

Health Minister K Sudhakar said that the new system would “bring in transparency to the allocation of Remdesivir”.

He explained in a tweet, “In case if the #Remdesivir is allocated against the SRF ID & the hospital has not provided it to the patient, a facility is provided in the same link to report it to the government. This will help govt in curbing black-marketing & misuse of Remdesivir.”

Deputy CM C N Ashwathnarayan, who heads the Covid-19 ministerial task force said, “In case if Remdesivir is allocated against the SRF ID and hospital has not provided it to the patients, the issue can be reported to the government by using the new system.”

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, D V Sadananda Gowda informed that a total of 4.25 lakh vials of Remdesivir was allocated to the state for this week.

“This is the highest amount of Remdesivir allocated among all states for the period of May 23 to 30. So far, approximately 10 lakh vials have already been made available to Karnataka till May 23. Adding the latest numbers, the total has risen to 14.25 lakh vials,” he said in a statement.

Conducting class 12 exams important for students: Education Minister

Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education minister S Suresh Kumar, Sunday, spoke in favour of conducting annual board exams for second-year pre-university students (II PU equivalent to Class 12) in the state, once the Covid-19 situation in the state improved.

“It is important to conduct Class 12 exams as this would be in the interest of students. We have currently planned to hold II PU exams a time when (the number of) Covid-19 cases see a decline in Karnataka,” he said.

While speaking at a meeting convened by the Centre to discuss the possibility of conducting Class 12 exams amid the pandemic, Kumar added that the state has also decided to notify students of the revised schedule at least 15 to 20 days in advance.

“Exams should be held in a simplified format. A final call will be taken in the upcoming days on how exams can be conducted after considering the students’ future, parental concerns and the recommendations by the Centre,” he said.

Kumar also hinted at plans to conduct exams by enhancing the number of centres.

“The question papers are ready but even in a simplified format, it will take at least 45 days for us to complete the exams,” a statement from the minister’s office quoted him during the meeting held on Sunday.

Exclusive CCC, quarantine centres for children begin operations in Bengaluru

Acting to the demand put forth by the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) to ramp up childcare infrastructure ahead of a possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, three quarantine centres (QCs) and a Covid Care Centre (CCC) have begun operations in Bengaluru.

Set up by a consortium of voluntary organisations and child welfare experts, these facilities are expected to help children whose parents are hospitalised or have passed away due to the pandemic, referred by the 1098 helpline or Child Welfare Committee (CWC) – due to various other situations, and residents of Child Care Institutions (CCI) who contract the infection.

“Children whose family members have tested positive and lack sufficient facility to be isolated at home will also be admitted,” a volunteer said.

Meanwhile, three separate QCs have been set up for children aged 6-11 (boys and girls), girls aged 12-18, and for boys aged 12 to 18. While the QCs together can accommodate 112 children, the CCC has a capacity of 50, which can be expanded as per the need, volunteers behind the initiative added.

The organisations involved in setting up and operating the centres in the city are Dream India Network, Motherhood Hospitals, Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Whitefield Rising, and Aahan Vaahan, supported by KSCPCR and local municipal body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

Reschedule all passport-related appointments: Bengaluru Regional Passport Officer

In the wake of the ongoing state-wide lockdown extended till June 27, the Regional Passport Officer (RPO) in Bengaluru Sunday informed that all appointments should be rescheduled by the applicants to a later date.

“Applicants having appointments during the lockdown period should reschedule their appointments to on or after 7 June 2021 irrespective of whether they receive SMS regarding cancellation of their existing appointment or not,” the RPO confirmed in a tweet.

Sandalwood supporting actors get food kits as Covid relief

Free food kits were distributed to supporting actors of the Sandalwood (Kannada) film industry during a drive organised by Bharat Gowda Charitable Trust in Bengaluru.

Launching the distribution drive, Deputy CM Ashwathnarayan said that the film industry was among sectors that have been severely affected due to the ongoing crisis.

“The cinema industry is in difficulties since March 2020 and their distress has been continuing due to restrictions on shooting activities and the closure of theatres. Organisations and donors should come forward generously at this juncture to help film artists considering the plight they have been facing,” he said.

Ashwathnarayan added that the government would discuss whether film workers can be considered frontline workers to facilitate vaccination to them on priority. He also announced a personal aid of Rs 1000 each to 200 supporting artists.

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