BENGALURU: Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Tuesday said there was a need to enforce “special measures” in Bengaluru, where Covid-19 cases are rising by the day. He also said that the third Covid-19 wave has set in the state, and Bengaluru will be an epicentre this time.
Sudhakar said the infections went up to 1.6 per cent from a mere 0.4 per cent in the state, of which 90 per cent were reported in Bengaluru.
“If you look at the national figure, maximum cases are coming in the metropolitan cities. Almost 90 per cent are in those cities. Hence, we are concentrating on Bengaluru with focus on formation of micro-containment zones and screening at the airport,” the minister said.
To a query, the minister said the third wave of Covid-19 has begun. “What’s the present scenario? Isn’t it the third wave? For six months, Karnataka did not have 0.1 per cent cases. If it has gone up to 1.6 per cent on a single day, this is the beginning of the third wave,” Sudhakar said.
According to him, it has already started in a few states such as Telangana and Maharashtra. Vaccinating children between the age group of 15 and 18 is one of the measures taken by the government.
“Yesterday, we (the government) vaccinated 4,22,252 children, though our target was 6.38 lakh. We could achieve 66 per cent on the first day. We were in the fourth place in the country in vaccinating teenagers. We want to increase more vaccinations,” he said.
According to him, there are 43 lakh children in the state within the age group of 15 to 18 and the state government wants to vaccinate them all in 10 to 15 days. I am confident that we will achieve it, he said.
When asked about the second dose to the children, the minister said he is waiting for the Centre’s guidelines.
To a query on the possibility of lockdowns, Sudhakar asked reporters not to use “strong words”.
“Don’t use strong words like lockdown. Recently, the public life is returning to normality. If we start talking of it, then it will disrupt lives,” he added.
Regarding the Congress’ Karnataka unit’s march from Mekedatu in Ramanagara district to Bengaluru on January 9 demanding the construction of a contentious balancing reservoir across Cauvery river to fulfill the drinking water needs of Bengaluru and neighbouring districts, he appealed to them to refrain from going ahead with it because the huge congregation will only lead to more infections.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday had said the state government was considering opting for more containment measures to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus.
CM Bommai said, “Having the experience of managing the earlier two waves, we have already asked the experts to recommend containment measures, with limited impact on daily lives of the people.” At present, the Karnataka government has imposed a night curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM from December 28 till January 7 morning.
Over the last five days, Karnataka has been witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases with daily cases crossing over the 1,000 mark. The state has reported 10 more cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus on Monday. This takes the state’s Omicron tally to 76.