‘No lockdown in Karnataka, seeking people’s cooperation’

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curfew night Picture

Bengaluru, April 20 : Karnataka revenue minister, R. Ashoka on Monday said that there is no proposal before the government to enforce lockdown or partial lockdown to contain the Covid pandemic.

After chairing the meeting with Bengaluru legislators and MPs to seek their opinion on tackling Covid, Ashoka who is also chairman of state disaster management committee said that next two months will be most crucial, hence, the government needed the support of everyone including the Opposition.

“All the more what we require is a strong support from our people, who are on the street and they should start following the Covid norms strictly,” he said.

According to him, the Bengaluru representatives had suggested restart the stamping of Covid patients especially those who are in home isolation.

Rejecting charges of shortage of oxygen in hospitals, Ashoka said that there was no shortage of oxygen. “Yes few small and medium hospitals have encountered short supply of Oxygen, but that is not a complete picture. In reality, oxygen producing companies were not able to supply oxygen to all hospitals in the wake of growing demand. The Oxygen production companies have been asked to supply three times a day instead of twice a day,” he said.

As far as the shortage of beds, the minister said that the government was taking stringent steps on private hospitals to hand over 50 per cent of their beds. “As of now we have taken possession of only 10 per cent of beds from private hospitals. We are going to take steps on them soon,” he said.

He also added that as a contingency measure non-Covid patients who are not suffering from severe diseases are being shifted to makeshift hospitals at hotels. “Only emergency patients will be treated at these designated hospitals,” he reasoned.

When asked about shortage of Remedesvir drug, the revenue minister said that there was no shortage of this antiviral drug. “The government is already acting tough on those who are hoarding or blackmarketing this drug,” he said.

Replying to a query, Ashoka said that the government was already in the process of identifying new land to build more crematoriums as well as designate as burial grounds. “At present we have directed existing crematoriums to operate 24/7 till this crisis is over and that too free of cost to reduce burden on relatives of dead,” he said.

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