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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Karnataka Covid wrap: Death toll crosses 16K-mark, CM assigns new district in-charge ministers

CM Yediyurappa has recently announced that Karnataka will soon form a panel of experts and speed up the vaccination drive as part of preparations for a possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: May 3, 2021 6:38:54 am
karnataka covid newsA medical worker inoculates a woman with a dose of the corona vaccine at a vaccination centre in Bengaluru, Saturday, May 1, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The Karnataka Department of Health and Family Welfare services linked 217 more deaths in the past few days to Covid-19 on Sunday, and the death toll rose to 16,011 since March 10 last year. The daily test positivity rate was observed to be at 23.82 in the state in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, 64 more fatalities were recorded in Bengaluru Urban alone, while Ballari reported 18, Chamarajanagara 15, Tumkauru 13, Shivamogga 12, and 11 others succumbed to Covid-19 at Hassan district. Other districts that reported deaths were Bagalkote (1), Belagavi (2), Bengaluru Rural (5), Bidar (6), Chikkaballapura (3), Chikkamagaluru (2), Dakshina Kannada (1), Davangere (2), Dharwad (3), Haveri (4), Kalaburagi (7), Kodagu (2), Kolar, Koppal, Mandya (5 each), Mysuru (8), Raichur, Udupi (2 each), Uttara Kannada (7), Vijayapura (3), and Yadgir (1).

Meanwhile, 21,149 people recovered from the infection on Sunday as another 23,539 people were inoculated. The government is yet to begin vaccination for people aged 18 to 44 even though the same was symbolically launched by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday.

Yediyurappa assigns district ministers in a bid to improve Covid management

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa brought a minor rejig in the cabinet into effect on Sunday by assigning district responsibility to six ministers. The exercise is seen as one to ensure smooth COVID management in the districts.

As per the notification issued by the government, Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol, who holds the Public Works portfolio, will be in charge of Belagavi. He was the district in-charge minister of Bagalkote and Kalaburagi.

As Belagavi in-charge minister, he will replace Ramesh Jarkiholi, who had to step down as minister owing to the alleged sex-for-job scandal on March 3. Food and Civil Supplies Minister Umesh Katti will be in charge of Bagalkote district, whereas Mining and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani will look after Kalaburagi district.

karnataka covid news Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa visits a vaccination centre of Covid-19 in Bengaluru, Saturday, May 1, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Forest, Kannada, and Culture Minister Aravind Limbavali will be in charge of Bidar district, which was previously held by Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chavan. Minister for Urban Development and Sugar M T B Nagaraj has been made in-charge minister of Kolar district.

Previously H Nagesh was the in-charge minister, who was dropped from the cabinet ahead of cabinet expansion and rejig in January. Fisheries and Port Minister S Angara will be in charge of Chikkamagaluru district. The district did not have any in charge minister previously.

Karnataka to use services of medical, nursing students to intensify Covid battle

The Karnataka government has devised an action plan by roping in final-year medical and nursing students to help the state combat the coronavirus pandemic better. As per the decision taken by CM Yediyurappa after a meeting with stakeholders of top private medical hospitals in the state, the government will use the services of final year nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, hospital management students, Ayush doctors, and dentists for Covid duty.

Yediyurappa also confirmed the same in a series of tweets. “Held detailed discussion with the management of private hospitals to expand the availability of beds and optimise the existing resources. Oxygen beds will be set up at step-down hospitals using portable oxygen concentrators and centralised oxygen beds will be converted into ICU beds,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, the CM’s office added in a statement, “To overcome the shortage of ‘medical human resource’, the government has decided to rope in final-year medical and nursing students for COVID duty and give them grace marks. Their final year exam will be postponed and they will be given incentives.”

The government has also decided to enroll doctors with the Karnataka Medical Council who have completed their courses in foreign countries for Covid services, apart from “government doctors with less workload” who would be identified and assigned for the same.

Karnataka gears up for a possible third wave

CM Yediyurappa has recently announced that the BJP-led government in Karnataka will soon form a panel of experts and will speed up the vaccination drive as part of the state’s preparation for a possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“An expert group will be constituted to advise the government on prevention and mitigation of possible third and future waves of infection. The pandemic is an unprecedented challenge to humanity and we have to defeat it together with confidence, compassion and collaboration,” Yediyurappa tweeted.

Data on ICU patients missing from health bulletin since last 3 days

As patients and volunteers continue to scramble in and around Bengaluru to find an ICU bed for critically-ill Covid patients, the data that mentioned the number of patients admitted to ICUs across the state has been missing from the government’s daily health bulletin.

“To get an ICU bed in Bengaluru or even in neighbouring districts these days is a miracle. At least 500 people are on the waitlist daily, with many succumbing to the virus as they fail to find one on time,” a volunteer from the Emergency Response Team (ERT) set up by individuals and members of various NGOs and other organisations in Bengaluru alleged. He continued, “Meanwhile, Appendix -3 of the daily health bulletin, which specified the number of patients admitted to ICUs across 30 districts of the state, has been missing since Friday (April 30, 2021).”

 

The health department is yet to issue any statement or remark on this. However, the state government has appointed a senior IPS officer to arrange 4,000 ICU beds in the city with 500 beds in each of the eight municipal zones, as per an order issued by Chief Secretary P Ravikumar recently.

Karnataka: Wildlife sanctuaries shut to avoid Covid infection among animals

Following an advisory issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and Central Zoo Authority to prevent the spread of coronavirus among wildlife, the Karnataka Forest Department clarified that all such protected areas in the state were already closed to visitors for 15 days, since the lockdown began.

Officials clarified that all safari and tourism activities were suspended in areas including Nagarhole, Bandipur, Biligiri Ranganatha Swamy Temple (BRT), Bhadra, and other places.

“Field staff have been directed to be extra vigilant and to take note of any weakness found among animals. People staying close to protected areas will also not be allowed to venture into the forests in a bid to avoid any way in which the virus can be transmitted to the wildlife,” a senior official confirmed.

With PTI inputs

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