Belagavi: Amid spike in COVID-19 cases in Karnataka and its borders, Chief Minister of the State Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday asked people to cooperate with the government in containing the spread of the disease and avoid lockdown.
He said the officials of districts bordering Maharashtra have directed to be extra-cautious as the neighbouring State is witnessing a spurt in cases.
”Our stand is very clear. In the past, lockdown was imposed. The same should not happen again. For this, we are taking stringent measures. People have to cooperate with us,” Bommai told reporters.
Regarding extending night curfew or imposing tough rules, he said it would be decided on either on Monday or Tuesday.
”We have to see how coronavirus is. We saw it increasing in a big way in Bengaluru. We will take a call keeping that in mind,” he said.
Expressing concern over the spike in infections across the country, including the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Bommai said he has directed the officials to be extra-careful in the districts such as Belagavi, Vijayapura and Bidar bordering Maharashtra, which is witnessing rise in cases.
Referring to the people coming from other States with rising COVID cases, the Chief Minister said those entering Karnataka would have to be fully vaccinated and they should also possess a negative RT-PCR test report.
”These measures will cause trouble to the travellers but we are doing it keeping in view the public health of people of Karnataka, especially Belagavi,” Bommai said.
Elaborating further on the measures taken to contain COVID, Bommai said the government would not only have to impose restrictions but also need to make preparations.
Keeping in mind oxygen shortage last time, the government has now contacted the oxygen plants to supply oxygen to the State, the Chief Minister said adding, the hospitals have been asked to spruce up their oxygen plants and ICU beds.
”I have directed the officials to increase 4,000 more ICU beds in the State. We are also making preparations for adequate medicines,” he said.
Stating that the government was also focusing on the vaccination drive, the Chief Minister said vaccinating teenagers from 15-18 years would start from Monday.
Booster doses would be given to those who have co-morbidities, he added.
The Chief Minister’s directions comes on a day the State saw another big jump in cases with 1,187 fresh cases and six deaths.