Updated: January 21, 2022 3:29:23 pm
With pressure mounting from various corners and rising Covid cases not having overwhelmed the health infrastructure yet, the BJP government in Karnataka is likely to consider easing some of the coronavirus-linked curbs when Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai meets experts and interest groups on Friday afternoon.
However, before easing the night and weekend curfew, the Bommai government is expected to wait till the first week of February, when the third wave of the pandemic is expected to peak in the state. “We have to see how this Covid third wave has been moving and what it will do in the coming days. We have to assess its impact on the health infrastructure in the coming days. We have to consider all these things… We will obtain the views of the experts on the impact of measures taken so far, the course of infections and decide on plans,” the chief minister said ahead of his scheduled meeting with experts.
“We will gather the views of technical experts. They will express views from the health point of view. There are also others who want to express their views. There are political leaders also who have given their views,” Bommai said, adding that decisions taken would have a scientific basis.
There has been growing pressure from the BJP ranks to lift the Covid 19-linked restrictions, especially the weekend curfew that has affected businesses. Union minister Prahlad Joshi and BJP general secretary C T Ravi have suggested lifting the curfew. And hotel unions and workers’ unions have approached the government to lift the weekend curbs.
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One of the concerns before the government, nevertheless, is the projection that the third wave will peak in the last week of January and the first week of February—going by the pattern seen in cities such as Delhi and Mumbai.
The government is likely to keep the weekend curfew on till the end of the next week while marginally reducing the night-curfew hours, according to government sources. “The peak will be at the month-end or in the first week of February,” Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said.
“The hospitalisation percentage has remained at five per cent and the ICU admissions have remained low, and this is a good sign when we look at Covid-19 from a clinical point of view. The death rate is .05 and mostly linked to comorbidities. This is, however, not a reason for complacency,” he said.
“The pace of increase (in infections) has to be assessed, and at present there is no source for worry. We have been successful in reducing the caseload. Hospitalisation was for a minimum of 14 days in the second wave and now it is three-five days. We cannot say exactly whether the weekend curfew has worked or not, but some kind of measurement has been done for an assessment,” Dr Sudhakar said.
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