Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday said he was going into self-isolation on account of staff at his home office testing positive for Covid-19.
Earlier, Yediyurappa appointed a group of seven ministers and his political secretary along with eight IAS officers to oversee efforts to check the spread of the coronavirus in Bengaluru.
“Since some of the staff at my home office Krishna have tested positive for Covid 19, I have decided to work from home for a few days. I will provide necessary advice and guidance through video conferencing. There is no need for concern, I am healthy,” the CM said on social media on Friday. The cases in his home office were detected more than five days ago and the premises has been closed and sanitised.
Coronavirus cases have been surging in Karnataka over the week, with over 2,000 cases registered daily in the last four days. Bengaluru has been at the heart of the surge, recording over 1,000 cases consistently over the week.
On Thursday, Yediyurappa designated seven ministers to oversee efforts to control Covid in the eight divisions of the city. The ministers — R Ashok, V Somanna, Byrathi Basavaraju, Dr C N Ashwathnarayan, K Gopalaiah, S T Somashekhar and S Suresh Kumar — will look after seven zones while the CM’s political secretary S R Vishwanath will look after the eighth division.
Eight key IAS officers will be in charge of the eight divisions in Bengaluru, where over 7,000 cases have been recorded in the last week, with the doubling rate at seven days (compared to nine for the state) and the test positivity rate at 23.7 per cent (compared to 12.1 per cent for the state) in the last seven days. The city has seen 18.4 deaths per million population till July 9 compared to 7.9 for the state.
“It is to bring the situation in Bengaluru under control that the CM has appointed ministers and IAS officers to monitor the fight against Covid-19,” Medical Education and Covid-19 in-charge Minister Dr K Sudhakar said.
The eight IAS officers were appointed under powers granted by the Disaster Management Act 2005 to “effectively control the spread of Covid 19 in Bengaluru and to monitor and take quick decisions”, an order by Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar said.
The city of Bengaluru had 11,687 active cases as of Friday after 1,447 cases were recorded for the day. There were also 29 deaths reported on Friday.
The 1,377 government hospital beds meant for treating moderate to severe cases in Bengaluru are all full at present, and the main treating hospital at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, which has 550 beds, saw a continuous stream of ambulances arriving Friday. “All 36 ICU beds in the hospital are full. An additional 10-bed ICU is being created in a new wing on emergency basis,” a staffer at the hospital said.
The state government has attempted to get private hospitals to stick to a commitment of providing 3,456 of 8,620 beds in the private sector to the state.
The medical education minister said on Friday that the hospital bed situation would ease in a few days as many asymptomatic patients would be ready for discharge, allowing the state to implement a new policy of admitting only the ill patients in hospitals while sending all asymptomatic patients to home isolation or Covid Care Centres.
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